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Sipilä’s cabinet most male-dominated of the 2000s

Three newly-appointed ministers tipped Sipilä's government's gender balance significantly. Yle's list of women in different cabinet positions since the 1990s sheds light on how gender equality in politics has developed over time.

Presidentti Sauli Niinistö presidentin esittelyssä perjantaina 5. toukokuuta.
Jari Leppä became Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Antti Häkkänen the Minister of Justice and Sampo Terho the Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport. Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

The gender balance of the Finnish government tipped significantly when three new ministers were anointed to their new roles on Friday.

MP Jari Leppä (Centre) became Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, MP Antti Häkkänen (NCP) the Minister of Justice and MP Sampo Terho (Finns) the Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport.

Out of 17 ministers 12 (70.6%) are men, while five (29.4%) are women. Before the appointment of the three new ministers, Prime Minister Sipilä’s government consisted of 14 ministers, nine men and five women.

The gender divide in government has been relatively equal throughout the 2000s. 91 (52.5%) ministers have been men while 82 (47.4%) women. In comparison, Sipilä’s government has a lot of catching up to do.

This summer the scales will be balanced slightly, when Juha Rehula (Centre) will give up his role as Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services to Annika Saarikko (Centre).

Finland’s most female-dominated government yet was Matti Vanhanen’s cabinet in 2007, when 12 out of 20 ministers were women. Anneli Jäätteenmäki and Mari Kiviniemi are the only two women to have held office as Prime Minister.

Way back in 1906, Finland was the first country to adopt full gender equality in its parliament by granting everyone, men and women, the right to vote and stand for election.

How far have Finnish women come in politics since then? Yle's list of women in different cabinet positions since the 1990s sheds light on how gender equality in politics has developed over time. 

Esko Aho's (Centre) cabinet 26.4.1991–13.4.1995

Ahon hallitus
Esko Aho’s cabinet had seven women: Minister in the Environmental Ministry Pirjo Rusanen (NCP), Environmental Minister Sirpa Pietikäinen (NCP), Social Affairs and Health Minister Eeva Kuuskoski (Centre), Defence Minister Elisabeth Rehn (Swedish People’s Party), Justice Minister Hannele Pokka (Centre), Education Minister Riitta Uosukainen (NCP), and Minister in the Education Ministry Tytti Isohookana-Asunmaa (Centre). Image: Pekka Sipilä / Yle, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Paavo Lipponen's (SDP) 1st cabinet 13.4.1995–15.4.1999

Lipposen ykköshallitus.
Minister in the Ministry in Finance Arja Alho (SDP), Social Affairs and Health Minister Sinikka Mönkäre (SDP), Employment Minister Liisa Jaakonsaari (SDP), Transport Minister Tuula Linnainmaa (NCP), Foreign Minister Tarja Halonen (SDP), Defence Minister Anneli Taina (NCP), and Minister in the Employment Ministry Terttu Huttu-Juntunen (Left Alliance). Image: Touko Yrttimaa / Yle, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Paavo Lipponen's (SDP) 2nd cabinet 15.4.1999–17.4.2003

Lipposen kakkoshallitus.
Social Affairs and Health Minister Maija Perho (NCP), Family Affairs and Social Services Eva Biaudet (Swedish People’s Party), Minister in the Finance Ministry Suvi-Anne Siimes (Left Alliance), Employment Minister Sinikka Mönkäre (SDP) Education Minister Maija Rask (SDP), Culture Minister Suvi Lindén (NCP), Foreign Minister Tarja Halonen (NCP) and Environment Minister Satu Hassi (Green League). Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Anneli Jäätteenmäki's (Centre) cabinet 17.4.2003–24.6.2003

Jäätteenmäen hallitus
Culture Minister Tanja Karpela (Centre), Social Affairs and Health Minister Sinikka Mönkäre (SDP), second Finance Minister Ulla-Maj Wideroos (Swedish People’s Party), Prime Minister Anneli Jäätteenmäki (Centre), Education Minister Tuula Haatainen (SDP), Foreign Trade and Development Minister Paula Lehtomäki (Centre), Family Affairs and Social Services Liisa Hyssälä (Centre), Transport and Communications Minister Leena Luhtanen (SDP), and Employment Minister Tarja Filatov (SDP). Image: Touko Yrttimaa / Yle, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Matti Vanhanen's (Centre) 1st cabinet 24.6.2003–19.4.2007

Vanhasen ykköshallitus.
Social Affairs and Health Minister Sinikka Mönkäre (SDP), Employment Minister Tarja Filatov (SDP), second Finance Minister Ulla-Maj Wideroos (Swedish People’s Party), Education Minister Tuula Haatainen (SDP), Foreign Trade and Development Minister Paula Lehtomäki (Centre), Transport and Communications Minister Leena Luhtanen (SDP), and Family Affairs and Social Services Liisa Hyssälä (Centre). Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Matti Vanhanen's (Centre) 2nd cabinet 19.4.2007–22.6.2010

Vanhasen kakkoshallitus.
Social Affairs and Health Minister Liisa Hyssälä (Centre), Justice Minister Tuija Brax (Green League), Administration and Local Government Minister Mari Kiviniemi (Centre), Communications Minister Suvi Lindén (NCP), Transport Minister Anu Vehviläinen (Centre), Environment Minister Paula Lehtomäki (Centre), Education Minister Sari Sarkomaa (NCP), Employment Minister Tarja Cronberg (Green League), Agriculture and Forestry Minister Sirkka-Liisa Anttila (Centre) and Interior Minister Anne Holmlund (NCP). Image: Touko Yrttimaa / Yle, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Mari Kiviniemi's (Centre) cabinet 22.6.2010–22.6.2011

Kiviniemen hallitus.
Employment Minister Anni Sinnemäki (Green League), Family Affairs and Social Services Minister Paula Risikko (NCP), Agriculture and Forestry Minister Sirkka-Liisa Anttila (Centre), Immigration and European Affairs Minister Astrid Thors (Swedish People’s Party), Transport Minister Anu Vehviläinen (Centre), Education Minister Henna Virkkunen (NCP), Environment Minister Paula Lehtomäki (Centre), Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi (Centre), Communications Minister Suvi Lindén (NCP), Justice Minister Tuija Brax (Green League) and Interior Minister Anne Holmlund (NCP). Image: Valtioneuvosto, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Jyrki Katainen's (NCP) cabinet 22.6.2011–24.6.2014

Kataisen hallitus.
Development Minister Heidi Hautala (Green League), Social Affairs and Health Minister Paula Risikko (NCP), Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen (SDP), Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson (Swedish People’s Party), Family Affairs and Social Services Minister Maria Guzenina (SDP), Education Minister Krista Kiuru (SDP), Administration and Local Government Minister Henna Virkkunen (NCP), Transport Minister Merja Kyllönen (vas.) and Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen (Christian Democrats). Image: Kari Kuukka, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Alexander Stubb's (NCP) cabinet 24.6.2014–29.5.2015

Stubbin hallitus.
Education and Communications Minister Krista Kiuru (SDP), Culture and Housing Minister Pia Viitanen (SDP), Transport and Local Government Minister Paula Risikko (NCP), Europe and Trade Minister Lenita Toivakka (NCP), Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson (Swedish People’s Party), Family Affairs and Social Services Minister Susanna Huovinen (SDP), Social Affairs and Health Minister Laura Räty (NCP) and Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen (Christian Democrats). Image: Valtioneuvosto, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Juha Sipilä's (Centre) cabinet 29.5.2015–

Sipilän hallitus
Original composition of Sipilä’s government: Transport and Communications Minister Anne Berner (Centre), Foreign Trade and Development Minister Lenita Toivakka (NCP), Local Government and Public Reforms Minister Anu Vehviläinen (Centre), Social Affairs and Health Minister Hanna Mäntylä (Finns), and Education and Culture Minister Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP). Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

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