Sunday. 04.06.2023

Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister raised in a rainbow family

In an interview in 2017, she explained how a kind of "culture of silence" related to family caused her anxiety as a child. She also mentioned how matters related to her family were also silenced, for example at school. Two decades ago, Finnish society was not so open to diversity and different types or families were not yet recognized.
The new Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin. Photo: Laura Kotila/Finnish Government.

Sanna Marin, a 34-year-old woman, graduate in Administrative Studies and mother of a child, is now officially the Prime Minister of Finland and the youngest head of Government in the world. The Finnish Parliament (Eduskunta) elected her as the 76th Prime Minister of independent Finland by 99 votes against 70.

Marin has been a Member of the Parliament since 2015 and she has served as the vice chair of the Finnish Social Democratic Party (SDP) since 2014. As a Prime Minister she replaced the leader of the SDP Antti Rinne, who resigned last week after being accused of misleading the Parliament in the context of the recent postal workers's strike.

Now, as the new Prime Minister, she will be leading a coalition Government with other 4 political parties, all headed also by women: the Center Party (Keskusta), the Green League (Vihreät), the Left Alliance (Vasemmistoliitto) and the Swedish People's Party (RKP):

Sanna Marin's appointment to lead the government of her country became global news this week. Also the fact that she is going to head what will probably be the Government with the greatest specific weight of women.

Raised by two women

Finnish media such as Iltalehti have been investigating these days in their archives and brought back some information that shed light on aspects that marked the vital trajectory of the new Prime Minister. Among them, an interview of the year 2017 in which Sanna Marin explains that as a child she was raised by two women -her mother and her mother's female partner-, has been recovered.

According to the aforementioned newspaper, when Marin was a child, a kind of "culture of silence related to family" caused her anxiety. Those were different times, when the Finnish society was not so open to diversity and did not recognize the different types of existing families.

In the interview, Marin explains (in Finnish) how family-related matters were silenced for example at school or among friends:

"I remember we had a family that was just right, but for some reason nobody wanted to admit it or talk about it," she says in the video, in which she talks about her childhood.

Maintain the Government Programme

Sanna Marin's designation will not affect the composition of the five-party coalition Government. In fact, the leaders of the other four parties have already expressed their intention to maintain the Government Programme and their main objectives: strengthen equality, fight the climate change and reduce unemployment.

After the appointment of the new Prime Minister, President Sauli Niinistö made official the resignation of the previous cabinet led by Antti Rinne, which since last week was serving on a caretaker basis. 

In practice, the new Finnish Government will be led by a new power duo: the social democrat Sanna Marin as the Prime Minister and the leader of the Center Party, Katri Kulmuni, as the Minister of Finance.

Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister raised in a rainbow family