The Council for Gender Equality promotes gender equality
The Council for Gender Equality (TANE) is one of Finland’s three gender equality authorities. It is a permanent parliamentary committee that operates within the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. TANE was established in 1972.
TANE promotes gender equality in the Finnish society. The Council is primarily a political actor that introduces initiatives and contributes to current gender equality issues. TANE is an advisory body within the state administration.
The duties of the Council for Gender Equality are:
- to monitor and promote the implementation of equality between women and men in society
- to present motions and proposals as well as to issue statements, to develop legislation affecting gender equality and other gender equality measures
- to promote co-operation among authorities, social partners, women’s and men’s organisations, as well as other bodies
- to promote research on gender equality and the implementation of research findings
- to follow international developments in the field.
Furthermore, TANE acts as a voice for non-governmental organisations in policy-making and it is actively in touch with researchers in the field. TANE has a distinctive role in the planning and implementation of gender equality policies.
TANE as a parliamentary council
TANE is a parliamentary council to which the members are appointed in accordance with the relative strengths of the parliamentary groups. Due to a wide representation of political parties in the Council, TANE has a significant role in the formation of gender equality policies in Finland.
TANE as a gender equality authority
In the Council politicians, civil servants, representatives of NGOs and researchers are brought together to create new gender equality policies. Because of its strong and diverse networks the Council has a wide range of expertise in the field of gender equality.
TANE as an expert in the legislative process
TANE has an important advisory role in the legislative process. For example, TANE is requested for statements concerning reports that are drafted by ministry-appointed working groups. Also the committees of the Parliament frequently request TANE’s advisory members in their hearings. In these statements and hearings, TANE has highlighted that gender equality is a diverse phenomenon that influences both the majority of people as well as minorities.
TANE as an initiative body within state administration
TANE is a pioneer in initiating debate and proposing motions on gender equality policies. TANE has demanded many reforms that have required extensive dialogue on gender equality in Finland. Simultaneously, TANE has challenged politicians to review their attitudes towards gender equality issues. The initiatives have set in motion development processes in the society. For example, TANE proposed paternity leave ten years before the reform was introduced in the Finnish legislation.
TANE in cooperation with non-governmental organisations
The Council and its subcommittees have permanent advisory members from non-governmental organisations. TANE also organises seminars with a wide range of NGOs.
TANE unites gender equality policies and gender research
The cooperation between researchers (woman, man and queer research) and politicians that come together in the Council and in its subcommittees, can be described as a unique way of working even in the international context. TANE can be seen as a forerunner in uniting gender equality policies and gender research.
TANE has had an essential role in the development of Finnish gender policies that are based on gender research. The Council has provided a significant national forum for gender researchers from different parts of Finland to meet and promote gender equality together with civil servants and politicians.
TANE as a forerunner on "men and gender equality" theme
The Council for Gender Equality established the Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality in 1988. The subcommittee is the most long-term expert body that has worked continuously with gender equality issues from male perspectives. The subcommittee has drawn attention to the equality work done with men, and above all, has made this work acceptable. The subcommittee has attracted attention on the debate on male policies and it has raised male perspectives into the Finnish discussion about gender equality.
TANE’s subcommittees prepare decisions for the Council for Gender Equality, but do not independent decision-making authority. The subcommittees add an extensive and cutting-edge expertise to the work of the Council. During the previous term 2011-2015, TANE established two subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Gender and Power and the Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality.
TANE as an international actor on gender equality
TANE actively advances international cooperation on gender equality. The cooperation has been the most intensive among the Nordic countries, especially with Swedish and Estonian gender equality authorities, NGO’s and researchers. Furthermore, TANE participates in the work of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).