Finnish Prejudiced Equality Authorities Deny Men’s Issues

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Tämä on Miesten tasa-arvo ry:n The Guardian-lehteen lähettämä mielipidekirjoitus:

The Head of Equality Unit in the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Tanja Auvinen, and Ombudsman for Equality, Jukka Maarianvaara were interviewed on equality in Finland by The Guardian. Both had focus solely on women´s issues. Domestic violence against women, uneven distribution of family leaves between fathers and mothers, women´s lower paychecks and segregation of branches of trades are raised as the main issues of equality (The Guardian, 14 Dec 2019; ”Feminism comes of age in Finland as female coalition takes the reins”, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/14/feminism-finland-gender-equaity-sanna-marin).

I strongly disagree. It is boys and men, rather than girls and women, who have equality issues in Finland. Learning gap in primary school between boys and better grading girls is the widest in OECD, the majority of the homeless are men, the majority of the outcasts are men, the majority of the victims of violence are men and men´s lives are over five years shorter than women´s in average. We have several laws favouring women, the most outstanding being the conscription which only forces men to serve in the army for up to one year. It is a hoax not to include any of these grievances in the list of equality issues.

Young female cabinet ministers may seem to be a good sign of equality. But it may be the opposite: for girls and women it is easier to graduate from schools with good marks and get a job. They do not have to serve their country in the military but instead they can continue their studies or work while their male counterparts crawl in the woods.

Legislation is customized for women also in other fields. Certain proportion of the state given support to political parties must be given to women´s organs. Several feminist organizations are funded directly by the state by law. Act on Equality between Women and Men is not equal neither – its main objective is ”to improve the status of women, particularly in working life”.

There are highly appreciated branches in society, where vast majority of employees are women, like judiciary. Then there are branches where men dominate, like engineering. Equality authorities criticize only branches dominated by men for being segregated.

The authorities use flawed, tendentious and outdated metering tools in comparing the quality of lives of men and women. Although they claim the opposite, there is no pay gap between male and female colleagues working the same hours in the same position for the same employer. Men and women can freely apply for any training or job position in Finland equally (except that men are restricted by conscription duties). According to Eurostat statistics men face as much domestic violence as women.

According to BIGI (Basic Indicator of Gender Inequality, https://bigi.genderequality.info/), which is said to focus on key ingredients of a good life of both men and women in 1) healthy life expectancy, 2) basic education and 3) life satisfaction, Finland´s rank is 72. The rank is low because men are having more issues than women in all the three fields.

Juuso Erno

Chairman

Gender Equality for Men in Finland

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