Plan International Finland

From insult to inspiration

Storytelling

Finland has always been a pioneer in gender equality in politics. The first country in Europe to give women the vote. The tiny northern country that was living “the feminist dream”. So when Finland formed a new government that was young and lead by women – all in their thirties – the photograph of new prime minister’s coalition quickly made the headlines around the globe. 

But even in Finland, the battle for equality isn’t over. According to study by Plan International, more than half of girls surveyed, from around the world, have been harassed and abused online. One in four girls abused online feels physically unsafe as a result. 

Online violence towards female politicians is a huge challenge for democracy and equality. It aims to silence their voices and scare them off. It has the power to belittle, demean, intimidate and eventually silence women. One of the ways to belittle is using the word “girl” as an insult. 

In this case, the mockery culminated in photo manipulation where Finnish female leaders were altered to look like young children. Image included the headline “girls playing government.” Starting from Reddit the photo started to circulate in Finnish social media sites, in context to mock politicians being females.

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