Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality

All genders benefit from equality and the dismantling of confined gender roles. The Council for Gender Equality’s Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality deals, in particular, with gender equality issues related to boys and men. The subcommittee serves as a forum for meeting and cooperation between experts.

The main tasks of the subcommittee include: 

  • acting as a catalyst for discussion on men’s equality policy
  • taking initiatives 
  • developing cooperation with actors working with men and boys.

The Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality has operated continuously since 1988. The Subcommittee for Men and Gender Equality for the 2019-2023 parliamentary term is the Council for Gender Equality’s eleventh Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality.

History of the subcommittee

Eleventh Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality (2019-2023)

Composition

  • Chair: Matias Mäkynen (SDP)
  • Deputy chair: Juha Järä (Finns)
  • Mira Karjalainen
  • Sakris Kupila
  • Jouni Sirén
  • Henrik Wikström 

And permanent advisory bodies

  • The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters: Jussi Pulli (Veli-Matti Toikka)
  • Miehet – Män – Men ry: Janne Salakka (Totti Brunila)
  •  The Central Association for Men’s Organisations in Finland Antti Alén (Markku Forsström)
  • Diverse Families network Anna Moring (Sara Mäkäräinen)
  • The Coalition of Finnish Women’s Associations: Mervi Mäki-Neste (Katariina Hyvärinen) 
  • Poikien talo: Kalle Laanterä (Kimmo Saastamoinen)
  • LBGTI Rights in Finland (Seta) Petri Janhunen (Krister Karttunen)
  • Association for Men’s Studies: Petteri Eerola (Toni Kosonen)
  • Family Federation of Finland: Anders Huldén (Anna Kokko)

Updated on 1 February 2021

Priorities

The thematic priorities of the Subcommittee for Men and Gender Equality during the current term are:

Family, leisure time and working life

  • the family leave reform, increasing the number of family leaves used by fathers
  • conscription and national defence (active participation especially in the debate held by the Parliamentary Committee)
  • shared custody in families with divorced parents and forms of support
  • men and the Internet

Education and research 

  • gender-based segregation in educational and vocational fields
  • gender-based learning differences 
  • strengthening the status of men's studies in Finland

Gender-based violence

  • men's agency in work to prevent violence
  • men as victims of violence

Diverse masculinity

  • men and health
  • the status of boys and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Finland
  • gender equality problems in particular among vulnerable men and other population groups (multiple discrimination)

The subcommittee aims to promote the mainstreaming of gender equality work from a male perspective in a broader context in the organisation field and work in cooperation with the council and stakeholders to ensure that the Government promotes equality for boys and men on the basis of the recommendations of the men’s working group. 

The subcommittee monitors the preparation of key reforms from the gender perspective and, if necessary, submits proposals to the council for events and working groups related to current social reforms.  

Intersectionality and multiple discrimination are taken into account in all of the subcommittee’s activities.

History of the Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality

In 1986, the Council for Gender Equality established a men's studies research group. The groups’ task was to survey men's studies conducted in Finland, consider what studies should still be conducted in relation to the status, roles and image of men, and consider what related themes could be highlighted in societal discussion.

The first Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality was established in 1988 as a follow-up to the work of the men’s studies research group. Key themes discussed by the Subcommittee include gender equality, paternity, working life, men’s studies, and violence.

By international comparisons, the Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality is presumably the longest continuously operating advisory body to look at gender equality from the perspective of men. 

The history of the men’s subcommittee has been compiled in a publication written in Finnish:
Tasa-arvoasiain neuvottelukunnan miestyön historia 1988-2006 (PDF), TANE-monisteita 7/2006

Chairs of the Subcommittee on Men and Gender Equality

Jorma Hentilä 1988–1989
Antero Honkasalo 1988–1992
Tapani Kaakkuriniemi  1992–1995
Jorma Kukkonen 1996–1998
Anders Brunberg  1999–2001
Tapio Pekkola 2002–2003
Tapio Pekkola 2004–2007 (Mies- ja mediajaosto)
Kari Uotila 2007–2011, 2011–2015
Jirka Hakala 2015–2019
Matias Mäkynen 2019–