While notions such as the “glass ceiling” and “gender wage gap” have become staples in Finland's media discourse, a major Finnish study carried out by researchers from the University of Helsinki, the University of Tampere and the University of Turku appears to have found symptoms of discrimination against males.
Men in nearly all political parties in Finland have complained to researchers about a certain gender bias in the last election, as if being male put them at a disadvantage in the process of candidate nominations, national broadcaster Yle reported.
Researchers Josefina Sipinen and Vesa Koskimaa speculated that the finding is grounded in the fact that male candidates are aware that the nomination of female candidates is a priority in parties that mostly cater to female voters and subscribe to the idea of promoting women.
Men from the Green Party were most likely to feel that their gender negatively affected their chances of being nominated. And not without a reason: in the last election, only three of the 20 Green MPs elected were men.
Within the Social Democratic Party and the Left Alliance, which are also part of the ruling left-of-the-centre bloc, about a third of men felt that their gender was a disadvantage, at least to some extent.
By contrast, the study found no gender variation on the issue in the National Coalition Party, where just under a fifth of both men and women felt that their chances of being nominated were negatively affected by their gender.
Incidentally, the Swedish People's Party was the only political party where male members said that their gender was not a barrier when applying for a candidacy.
In the 2019 parliamentary elections, 42 percent of candidates were women and 58 percent men. The proportion of women was slightly higher than in the two previous parliamentary elections in 2015 and 2011.
However, all the five ruling parties of the left-of-the-centre bloc are led by women, with 34-year-old Prime Minister Sanna Marin being the youngest in the country's history. Both these facts have been widely celebrated by proponents of gender equality as a token of Finland's progressive nature.