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APN election edition: Sanna Marin

The PM told the All Points North podcast that women in Finland from non-majority backgrounds face many hurdles.

Sanna Marin
Yle News interviewed Prime Minister Sanna Marin ahead of the local elections.
Yle News

This week Finland announced it was slowly easing restrictions on public gatherings despite hospital outbreaks involving a coronavirus variant first identified in India. However, Prime Minister Sanna Marin urged patience, telling All Points North that "it's not safe to have a normal life yet."

You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here or via Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.

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Heading a coalition and a cabinet dominated by women, Marin has said her administration looks at issues through an intersectional feminist lens.

"People's backgrounds are making obstacles in their lives," she said.

Marin emphasised Finland's commitment to human rights, saying "people should have a good and equal life no matter their background," noting that a woman from a minority background finds "different obstacles in her way."

But that said, Marin refused to elaborate on recent debate surrounding the military's dress code banning headscarves with uniforms—an issue raised by a young Finnish-Somali woman.

"I don't have a personal strong opinion," Marin told APN, saying that she was unfamiliar with that particular case.

Marin, who is seeking re-election to the Tampere city council, was also unwilling to elucidate her recent suggestion to increase the progressivity of municipal taxes. She acknowledged that "we've [the SDP] always wanted to make sure that taxation is as progressive as it can be."

The PM refused to accept the label of being an anti-austerity politician, instead putting a visionary spin on her economic policies.

"There are many people who don't want any reforms and that only want to go backwards," she said, alluding to Finland's ambitious carbon neutrality goals.

All Points North's in-depth interviews with all of Finland's political party leaders in the run-up to the 13 June elections are available on Yle Areena.

Check out whether you can vote at canivote. We have compiled a really simple guide to Finland’s local elections, and you can also check out our election compass in English here.

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This week's show was presented by Egan Richardson and Zena Iovino. It was produced by Mark B. Odom while the audio engineer was Anders Johansson.

If you have a question or would like to share your thoughts, you can contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or at and

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