Finland launches the International Gender Equality Prize
2017 International Gender Equity Prize
Press Releases, 3/8/2017

Finland launches the International Gender Equality Prize

Government Communications Department
Press release 100/2017

To promote gender equality in the world, to support discussion on equality and to celebrate Finland’s 100 years of independence, the Finnish Government is launching the International Gender Equality Prize. The launch of the prize was made by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä in Tampere on International Women's Day.

‘For over 100 years, Finland has been a pioneer of gender equality. Ours was the first nation in the world to grant women full political rights. So it is only natural that Finland should be the first country in the world to establish an international prize that will be awarded to a distinguished advocate and defender of equality,’ said Prime Minister Sipilä in Tampere Hall.

The purpose of the prize is to promote discussion about gender equality in a global context. The prize will be awarded to a person or actor who has promoted gender equality in an internationally recognised way. The prize includes a monetary award that the recipient, however, does not receive for their own use but instead identifies a concrete cause that strengthens the position of women to which prize money will be granted. The prize will be awarded in cooperation with the City of Tampere.

The prize, awarded once every second year, was established by the Government of Finland as part of Finland’s centenary celebrations. The prize will be awarded for the first time in autumn 2017. This year’s prize amounts to EUR 150,000 and is being financed from development cooperation appropriations. The recipient of the prize will be nominated by a competition jury appointed by the Prime Minister's Office. This year the composition of the jury is: Paulina Ahokas, chair and managing director of Tampere Hall, Pekka Timonen, General Secretary for the Centenary and Rosa Meriläinen, author and researcher.

The public, both in Finland and abroad, are welcome to propose candidates for the prize for the competition jury to consider. The address for proposals will be announced on Minna Canth Day on 19 March 2017.

‘Gender equality is a core value for Finns. It has been an essential element in the story of the one-hundred-year-old Finland and in the shaping of our whole society. The need for discussion on equality is great, even in the western world. Promoting the position of girls and women is also a key theme in Finland’s development policy,’ noted Sipilä.


Anna-Kaisa Heikkinen, Special Adviser (International Affairs), tel. +358 40 7483 867, anna-kaisa.heikkinen(at)

(prize) Paulina Ahokas, chair of competition jury and managing director of Tampere Hall, tel. +358 40 5511 551, paulina.ahokas(at)

(equality affairs) Tanja Auvinen, Director, Gender Equality Unit, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163715, tanja.auvinen(at)

(Finland’s country brand) Petra Theman, Director for Public Diplomacy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs +358 295 351 558, petra.theman(at)

(Tampere City) Anna-Kaisa Ikonen, Mayor of Tampere, tel. +358 400 780 866