Head of State IMPACT Champion

Sauli Niinistö

For more than a century, gender equality has been a core value for Finland. There is still much room for improvement, and as the President of the Republic of Finland, I am committed to continue this work as a HeForShe Impact Champion.

IMPACT Commitments


Decrease violence against women by 5% by 2020.


It is estimated that as many as 70 percent of women worldwide face violence at least once in their lifetime. In Finland, approximately one in three women experience violence. In spite of various measures to tackle violence against women, it has globally increased in the last years. One of the key actions in the prevention of violence against women and girls is combatting gender stereotypes. As part of their HeForShe commitment, the Finnish Defence Forces will address conscripts on this issue, and follow that an education module on the prevention of violence against women and girls and aggression control will be part of the general training of conscripts. The Finnish Military National Defence is based on the civic duty of military service and the education module reaches a majority of young men and a number of young women. The goal is to decrease the number of cases of violence against women and girls perpetrated by men below 30 years of age by five percent within the next five years, and if successful, to share best practices with other Member States.


Realize UN Security Council Resolution 1325.


Peace-making and peace operations continue to be dominated by men. Violence against women continues, including sexual violence in conflicts. When crises erupt, women's roles and the lessons of 1325 are still pushed aside. As part of his HeForShe commitments, His Excellency will engage the foreign, security and defence policy leadership to ensure implementation of Women, Peace and Security ambitiously and support the new Government in its decision to put women and girls at the centre of the country’s development policy. His Excellency will advocate for resolution 1325 with international contacts and colleagues, especially from the Global South. In Finland he will continue to promote human rights, women's equal participation in preventing and solving conflicts as well as in peace operations.


Promote women's economic leadership.


Sustainable economic development is not possible without gender equality. Gender stereotypes still hinder women's possibilities to obtain leadership positions. His Excellency commits to combatting gender stereotypes and advocate for women’s economic leadership.

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