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Finland sends a message – “No Country for Old Men”

On December 10th Sanna Marin, 34, was sworn in as the world’s youngest prime minister. The majority of the members of her government are women and three of them are also in their 30s.

The previous government had to resign at the beginning of December after failing to handle a series of disruptive strikes and when the ruling coalition said it had lost confidence in the prime minister. Marin is now heading a coalition government whose four other component parties are also led by women. Finland has already long been at the forefront of equality, but this is the first time that the patriarchal norms really seem to have fully disappeared.

This is most definitely the opposite of what a lot of people still mistakenly expect to see when they look at the photo of a government. Now to be fair, the title of this article is a little misleading, of course there are still some slightly older men in Marin’s government, but they are now a minority. Both sexes and all age groups from 30 to 60 are represented.

Marin was thrown directly off at the deep end, as she had to take over the last weeks of Finnish presidency of the European Union and everyone was expecting her behind the next turn as her semi-surprise ascension to the role of youngest Prime Minister was heavily mediatized.

The expectations are certainly high for this new eclectic and progressive government and hopefully this breath of fresh and diverse air will be a model that other countries will be able to follow in the near future.

The culture of gender equality that lead Finland to this point is certainly a positive example and a more diverse government will certainly have a lot to offer.

The world’s oldest Prime Minister from Malaysia (Mahathir Mohamad) was quick to offer congratulations and advise to Marin: “Ask old people for advice and hold onto your idealism.”, but maybe the opposite would be a way for other countries to take this same path. Maybe some of the more traditionally aged world leaders could start listening at the younger generation and

By: J. Costa

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