Wear orange!

Yesterday was the Orange Day, aiming to raise awareness about violence against women and girls, as is the 25th of each month.

The campaign is organised by the Secretary General of the United Nations and the UN Women. You’re supposed to wear orange each month on the 25th till next March, when a Committee meetings is organised to erase violence against women.

Gender based violence is a serious global problem. The situation is not improved by the fact that we’re falling behind in exactly those UN Millennium Development Goals which aim to raise the well-being of women. Finland is however no exception from the rule: below one percent of the sexual domestic violence is reported to the police and only one fifth of the rapes reported to the police are taken to the court.

Violence against women can be tackled on the municipal level as well. One of my election themes is equality, and as part of it, fighting gender based violence. The City of Helsinki can have an impact by maintaining and adding to the support services for women who have experienced violence: for example the operation of round-the-clock women’s shelters must be ensured.

If we want to promote equality, we need adequate planning and resources. The City of Helsinki Equality Committee should be provided wider competences and adequate preparation work by civil servants. The Equality Plan is to be renewed from the beginning of next year, and this gives an excellent chance to make the plan more comprehensive and to create a proper monitoring system for it. A part of the equality work is the Gender Impact Assessment, which should be made part of all decision making.

The City of Helsinki is a significant actor on many sectors and an employer of thousands. For these reasons it’s important for the City of Helsinki to declare itself a Discrimination Free Zone. Joining the Campaign is a statement for equality.

It’s important to talk about gender based violence and other equality issues. That’s why you should wear orange, too!

Oranssia ylle!



The Feminists with a capital F

Wow. I had not really grasped the amount of feminist energy within the European Green Party gender network. Some quotes from the today’s meeting (disclaimer: they might not be 100 % accurate):

“I think we should definitely push for gender quotas.”
“I think all quotas are bad!”

“The problem is that women don’t want to apply for high positions.”

“The problems in Northern and Southern Europe are different, for example you don’t have gender pay gap.”
“We have gender pay gap.”

“What is the Femme Committee [the European Parliament Committee on Women’s rights and gender equality]?”

“What is 50+ quota?”

“We have the problem that there are more women than men in the party.”

Yeah. We’re the Feminists!