Publications

My final thesis can be found here (in Finnish):

Ain’t I A Woman? – Promoting inclusion and participation in political women’s associations in Finland.

Ojala, Annika (2017)

The purpose of this thesis is to develop inclusivity and to promote a culture of feminist, intersectional leadership in Finnish political women’s rights associations. The study addresses women’s lack in political decision-making as a demographic deficit and threat to peace, sustainability and the welfare state. In an era of blooming online hate speech, racism and misogyny, women’s rights can’t be taken as a given. They must be ferociously defended with a broad understanding of inclusion and feminism as the path to equality and peace.

Established actors for equality in the Nordic context, political women’s associations have in the previous years faced criticism regarding their exclusivity and homogeneity. Both an intergenerational and intersectional issue, the organizations don’t appear to be representative of all women’s rights.

The primary focus of the study is to better understand the organizational culture within the associations by giving centre stage to younger women, whose representation is lacking in the associations, across all political parties. By conceptualizing the power relations within the women’s rights organizations, the works aims to better understand where the reluctance to change stems from. The study calls for a thorough inspection on hidden power structures, in order for the organizations to further develop into more inclusive, truly feminist organizations.

With inclusivity and theories of intersectionality and feminist leadership at the forefront, the study aims to re-shape the way the organisations shall pursue their work in the future.

The author of the thesis works as the coordinator for the Green Women’s Association in Finland, who have commissioned the study.