Equality between men and women
According to Finnish law, men and women have the same rights. Married women also have the same rights as men.
In Finland, it is common that women also work even though they have children. The responsibility for taking care of children and the home belongs to both women and men. Women do not need permission to work or study from their spouse or parents.
Women and men can decide whom they marry. A forced marriage is a crime in Finland. For example, parents do not have the right to force or pressure their child to marry. Both women and men are entitled to file for a divorce. A divorce can also be granted without the consent of the other spouse.
Violence is always a crime in Finland. Violence that occurs in a family and a relationship, such as physical and sexual violence, is always a crime.
Read more: Violence.
Equality in working life
Women and men must be treated in the same way in working life. Discrimination on the basis of gender is prohibited. This means, for example, that a higher salary must not be paid to a man compared to a woman on the basis of gender, or a woman employee cannot be discharged because she is pregnant.
The Act on Equality between Women and Men prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. An Equality Ombudsman is an authority that monitors that the Act on Equality between Women and Men is observed. If you suspect that you have been discriminated against in working life due to gender, you can contact an Equality Ombudsman (tasa-arvovaltuutettu) or your trade union.
Read more on the InfoFinland page Equality and equal opportunities in working life.
According to Finnish law, everyone is entitled to be treated equally. Discrimination is a crime.
The InfoFinland page Discrimination and racism provides information on where to get help if you have experienced discrimination or fallen victim to a racist crime.
Rights of sexual and gender minorities
Finnish law states that a people must not be discriminated against based on sexual orientation. The law also prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression.
You can apply for asylum in Finland if you have experienced oppression elsewhere due to sexual orientation or gender identity. However, gaining asylum is not a given and every applicant’s case is investigated. The investigation examines the situation of the applicant and his/her country of origin as thoroughly as possible.
Finland has many organisations for sexual and gender minorities. They aim to improve the status of these minorities in society. Many organisations also provide training, advice and various support services.
Transgender persons, transvestites, intergender persons and other gender-diverse people can receive help from the Ombudsman for Equality if they are experiencing discrimination.
In Finland, two people of the same sex can marry one another.
Read more on the InfoFinland page Marriage in Finland.
The InfoFinland page What is a family? contains information on families of same-sex couples.
Gender Diversity & Intersex Centre of ExpertiseInformation for gender minoritiesLink redirects to another website
In Finland, children have the right to special protection and care. Children are also entitled to present their opinions. Children have the right to have their opinion taken into account when decisions regarding them are being made. According to Finnish law, corporal punishment of children is prohibited and can lead to a penalty.
More information on children’s rights is available on the InfoFinland page Children.
Rights of disabled people
Finnish law states that a disabled person must not be discriminated against. A disabled person has the right to live a normal life, for example, to study, work and start a family. According to the Non-Discrimination Act, employers and organisers of education must improve the possibilities for disabled people to find employment and education. For example, a working environment can be changed in such a way that makes it more accessible for a disabled person.
More information on services for disabled people is available on the InfoFinland page Disabled persons.