The statement of the Ombudsman for Equality to the Employment and Equality Committee of the Parliament of Finland (TAS 9/2019; TyV K 22-2018 vp, issued on 8 January 2019)
Ombudsman for Equality Jukka Maarianvaara was heard by the Employment and Equality Committee of the Parliament of Finland on 9 January 2019 on his report to the Parliament of Finland. Once in four years, the Ombudsman for Equality delivers a report to the Parliament on the realisation of equality in Finland.
In the hearing, the Ombudsman for Equality highlighted the key challenges of equality, such as discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or family leave, pay differences between genders, the status of gender minorities and the need for immediate reform of the Act on legal recognition of the gender of transsexuals, sexual harassment, violence against women and the increasing hate speech. The Ombudsman stressed that equality should be promoted in societal decision-making, and proposed that Finland would define national and measurable equality objectives for the following government programme.
The Ombudsman for Equality is a low-threshold judicial authority. In terms of the promotion of equality, it would be important if, in addition to law enforcement, the Ombudsman for Equality could allocate more resources to activities promoting equality and preventing discrimination. The Ombudman pointed out that the resources are not sufficient for the wide field of action and the workload increased by the legal reforms. The Employment and Equality Committee of the Parliament of Finland has also repeatedly expressed similar concerns.
In his report, the Ombudsman for Equality makes recommendations for legal reforms and other procedures promoting equality.
The full statement (in Finnish) on the report of the Ombudsman of Equality to the Employment and Equality Committee of the Parliament of Finland, as well as the recommendations of the Ombudsman for Equality can be found in the attachments below (in Finnish).