Equality in schools and educational institutions

The Equality Act prohibits discrimination in educational institutions based on gender, gender identity or gender expression. In addition, education and training providers must ensure that educational institutions carry out systematic work to promote gender equality. Educational institutions must also prevent discrimination on the grounds of gender identity or gender expression.

Duty of authorities to promote equality

Authorities, education providers and other communities offering education or training must promote gender equality in a purposeful and planned manner in all their activities.

Authorities, education providers and other communities offering education or training must promote gender equality in a purposeful and planned manner in all their activities. It is the education or training provider's responsibility to make sure that all schools and educational institutions under its administration carry out purposeful and planned work to promote gender equality.

Promoting equality in education and training

Authorities and organisers of education or training must make sure that girls and boys and women and men have equal opportunities to education and professional development and that teaching, research and learning material support the implementation of the purpose of this law. Equality is promoted in education and training with consideration to the children's age and development.

Tuition or teaching materials cannot be used to for example create or maintain prejudices or gender roles and divisions relating to stereotypical views on family and working life. 

Attempts are to be made in all aspects of education and training to unravel ways of thinking and acting which lead students to a formulaic choice of training and vocation according to their gender. It must also be observed how the customs of a school or educational institution and the teachers' actions affect students' views on occupations and fields which are suitable for girls and boys and for women and men.

Choices of education and careers which are based on traditional gender roles may uphold inequality in the labour market and limit the individual's freedom of choice. This is why choices related to studies should be based on individual factors, not gender.

Students must be encouraged to choose subjects according to their own interests, skills and advantages. Girls and women must have equal opportunities to be selected to study in a field that traditionally has been considered more suitable for boys and men, and correspondingly, boys and men must be offered equal opportunities to be selected to study in a field that traditionally has been considered more suitable for girls and women. Equality-sensitive study counselling and career guidance creates opportunities for this.