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 election. Finnish people have considered gender equality a guiding principle ever since.
Work still remains to be done, but Finland has repeatedly placed in the top two or three in studies and rankings that measure gender equality and women’s wellbeing. It is usually joined at the top by other Nordic countries. In Finland at the time of writing, women make up 42 percent of Parliament, 23 percent of board members in listed companies and 39 percent of board members in state-owned companies. Six out of the 17 government ministers are women.
When you go online to nominate a recipient, you can explain how the person or organisation has advanced gender equality and describe the impact of their actions. You can also estimate how many people have been affected by the activities of the person or organisation.
The inaugural International Gender Equality Prize went to Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany. Her life’s work has made her one of the world’s most influential people and an example to many women and girls. She chose to direct the money to the nongovernmental organisation SOS Femmes et Enfants Victimes de Violence Familiale (SOS Women and Children Victims of Domestic Violence) in Niger, which is establishing a residential shelter for victims of gender-based violence.
A post on the International Gender Equality Prize website encourages you to suggest a recipient: “We are looking forward to receiving excellent nominations,” it says.