Prime Minister Sanna Marin will participate in the Girls Takeover event organised by Plan International on 7 October, the government said in a press release.
For one day, the Prime Minister’s seat will be occupied by 16-year-old Aava Murto. In the Girls Takeover, which is part of the celebration of the UN’s International Day of the Girl, girls around the world step into the shoes of leaders in different sectors of society.
This year, Plan International is highlighting the impact of technology on gender equality. Several institutions and companies in Finland have been selected to participate in the campaign by taking action to promote gender equality in technology.
During the event, Prime Minister Marin and Murto will discuss Finland’s role on the international stage: what can Finland do to improve girls’ opportunities to use and develop technology around the world? In addition, Marin and Murto will discuss the harassment girls face online.
Over the course of the day, Murto will meet with Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, Chancellor of Justice Tuomas Pöysti and Member of Parliament Iiris Suomela, among others.
In the discussions, Murto wants to focus in particular on opportunities for the most vulnerable girls to benefit from technology in today’s rapidly digitalising world.
“To prevent girls in developing countries from being excluded from technological development and the opportunities it provides, we must ensure that they can make better use of technology and participate in its development. Girls’ access to technology is a significant, global equality issue that needs to be taken seriously,” says Murto, who is from the village of Vääksy in Southern Finland.
The digital divide between the genders is particularly great when looking at the share of girls and women working as developers of technology. Prime Minister Marin reminds us that we still have a great deal of work to do to bridge the gap around the world.
“Finland must make use of its strong national expertise in digitalisation, and in the area of new technologies and innovations more broadly, including in equality work. Innovations must make new technologies accessible to everyone. They must not deepen the digital divide between countries or within societies. They must serve to eliminate inequality as technology brings about changes to working life and societies,” says Prime Minister Marin.
In Finland, the Girls Takeover is taking place for the fourth time now. In addition to Prime Minister Marin, Aalto University Rector Ilkka Niemelä, Editor-in-Chief of Demi magazine Päivi Lehtomurto, F-Secure CEO Samu Konttinen, Futurice CEO Teemu Moisala, MTV News Editor Tomi Einonen, University of Oulu Rector Jouko Niinimäki and Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta will be taking part in the campaign this year.