Applying the equality rule

If a body, agency or institution exercising public authority, or a company in which the Government or a municipality is the majority shareholder has an administrative board, board of directors or some other executive or administrative body consisting of elected representatives, this must comprise an equitable proportion of both women and men. The equality rule also applies to boards.

Some public duties have been delegated and are carried out by parties who are not official authorities. Such organisations are known as the indirect public administration. If the indirect public administration involves exercise of public authority, then the equality rule will be applied.

Public authority can be defined as the unilateral right to make decisions on the interest of another person in law. Such activity, which is equivalent to the authorities' activities, must follow the same principle of good governance as the rest of the administration. Bodies who exercise public authority are e.g. pension institutions, the Central Chamber of Commerce and private educational institutions.

The equality rule is also applied to executive or administrative bodies, consisting of elected representatives, of companies in which the state or a municipality is the majority shareholder. According to the Limited Liability Companies Act, it is the general meeting who elects the board and the supervisory board, if such a board exists. The equality rule is applied to the election of those elected representatives that have been chosen by an authority through its general meeting representatives.
* See for example: Korkeimman hallinto-oikeuden ratkaisu KHO: 2017:2)

The goal of equal composition is the same as in section 4a(1), i.e. 40–60%. The goal of gender equality is therefore no less essential in section 4 a (2) than in the quota rule, but for practical reasons this goal may not be achieved as often, or it may only be achieved further along in the future than what is stated in section 4 a (1).