In 1907, 19 women were elected to the Parliament of Finland. Until tonight, the rate of women in parliament was at its height in 2011-2015, at 42,5 %.
Tonight, the percentage of women in parliament is reaching 46%. It is the highest number ever recorded in the history of our county.
These elections were attempted to be framed as elections of hate. But dear friends, I assure you:
These attempts failed terribly.
Now is not the time to look back. It’s time to look ahead. It’s our time.
The Green Women had a total of 92 candidates. And let me tell you. These lionesses indeed paved their way to the parliament hill.
The parliamentary group of the Greens in Finland has more women than any other one in the world. My friends, sisters, beloved ones. Tonight, we have gone from living in the myth of gender equality to actually smashing the glass ceiling.
The work wasn’t done overnight. We, as a women’s right organization can’t take all glory of it.
The praise should go out to the incredible women, who far too often at the risk of their own safety and well-being, have repeatedly brought up feminism and gender in places where they were intimidated, silenced and threatened.
I want to acknowledge the Greens of Finland, together with the Green Youth, for being progressive in building safer spaces in politics, where women have the chance to grow. Together, we will continue to advocate for safety in our events and our online-spaces, too.
Tonight, women all over the nation have risen to power. We are here, and not going anywhere.
Finland is a country of human rights and gender equality, lead by women. Young women, women of color, and our very own: green women.
I also want to use this opportunity to express gratitude to all those who showed support and solidarity during our campaign. Even if you weren’t allowed to cast your ballot, but live here, or if at any moment you felt fear during these last weeks of campaigning. We have a message for you.
We are loud and proud, when we say: Hate has no room in Finland. We will not let hate win and make you afraid again.
My dear friends. Let’s move together towards a feminist government!
// The speech was given in Helsinki on the electoral night of 14.4.2019, after the first votes came in. The Green group elected 17 women to parliament, out of 20 persons.