Right now Finland is at the forefront of future-forward moves, and their 34 year old female Prime Minister-to-be plays a primary role in that. As Sanna Marin is sworn into office this week, Finnish politics finds itself in an exciting and revolutionary moment in its political history. Sanna Marin, Finland’s current transport and communications minister, is about to change the narrative in Finland, and hopefully this has a domino effect on any world leaders who might be observing her.
Marin is set to be the youngest sitting leader ever, and was voted in by her Social Democratic Party. She is set to lead a coalition government composed of five parties, each of which is headed by women. Nearly all of them, minus the Swedish People’s Party leader and justice minister, are under the age of 40, and they all fight together to counteract populism and its impending rise.
Sanna Marin was nominated for the PM position after Antti Rinne resigned. This comes after losing confidence of an essential coalition partner only half a year after he was sworn in as prime minister. As usual, a fierce and ambitious woman was there, ready to clean up the mess and pave the way for a better world. In her own words, “I want to build a society in which every child can become anything and in which every human being can live and grow old with dignity.”
This is exactly what a world leader should look like in 2020, and we hope that in a few years, younger political heavyweights like Greta Thunberg will follow Marin’s path of success and motivation.
Marin has many liberal values that make her election a necessary one for society’s underdogs. For instance, she is very LGBT friendly. In fact, she was born and raised in Helsinki by her mother and her mother’s female partner, cheerfully and proudly calling herself a member of “a rainbow family.” One of her other steadfast values is the power of education, being the first person in her family to graduate high school and university. She credits her teachers at the Finish Welfare State for getting her through school and is a strong advocate for welfare.
She became passionate about politics when she was just in her early twenties and vice president of the Social Democratic youth from 2010 – 2012. Soon after, she became a council leader at age 27 and became a lawmaker in 2015. This rising political star brings to mind the 29 year old female PM of New Zealand, Jacinda Adern. Both of these women have taken their fields by force and are new mothers – Marin just had her daughter last year.
While many see her as a role model for young women all over the globe, Marin is focused on her mission and refuses to let stereotypes get in the way, commenting, “I have never thought about my age or gender. I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate.”
She has been voted in at a particular tumultuous time with many strikes occurring and on the horizon. But thanks to a huge support network made up of other leaders (most of which happen to be women), have proven to her that if someone can get the job done, it’s her. And if she can’t do it alone, she’ll have four fiery ladies by her side to make for some gorgeous teamwork. Where male leaders act from paranoia and ego, women leaders are willing to put all differences aside if it means lifting another up. These ladies are truly breaking the mold and creating her-story in a moment that makes us tear up.
This is a moment of female solidarity that can turn into an iconic moment of global solidarity. With more leaders like her and Jacinda Adern, women might finally be able to reach equality, and make more sound decision for every gender and human being out there today.
Like many parts of the West, Finland has experienced a surge in right-wing populists, and this move is an encouraging change of direction in a confusing, post-Trump world. Many see us as living during a scary time in history, but this election shows an exciting time of change and potential that will brighten the lives of many. Marin marks Finland’s third female government leader, and many Scandinavian leaders seem to be leading the charge in women’s rights and civil rights. Hopefully, our international brothers and sisters take note.