Sanna Marin, 34, Finland’s new prime minister, heads a government coalition with four other female leaders

Less than a month after her 34th birthday, Sanna Marin was chosen by her party, the Social Democrats, to replace Antti Rinne as prime minister.

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The other four parties in the government coalition all have women leaders: Katri Kulmuni of the Centre Party, Maria Ohisalo of the Greens, Li Andersson of the Left Alliance and Anna-Maja Henriksson of the Swedish People’s Party. The first three are also less than 35 years old.

Out of the 19 government ministers in the new cabinet, 12 are women. Marin is the youngest prime minister currently in office in the world and the youngest one in Finnish history.

Rinne remains leader of the Social Democratic Party for the time being, but had to relinquish the post of prime minister after an uproar about who knew what and when they knew it during a recent labour dispute involving postal workers.

In 1906, Finland became the first country in the world to grant full political rights to women – they gained the right to vote (a first in Europe) and also the right to run for office.

A record number of women won seats in the April 2019 parliamentary elections: 93, equaling 47 percent of the 200-person Parliament. The previous high was 85, in 2011. Women hold 17 of the Green Party’s 20 seats and 22 of the SDP’s 40 seats.

By ThisisFINLAND staff, December 2019

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