In 1906, Finland became the first European country to give voting rights to women. In 2019, the country is being led by world’s youngest prime minister. Sanna Marin, 34, has set a record of sorts by becoming a premier at this young age. But that’s not all – three of her cabinet colleagues are in their 30s. The finance minister is two years younger to Marin.
Finland’s government resigned early December after the Centre Party said it had lost confidence in Social Democrat Prime Minister Antti Rinne following his mishandling of a postal strike in the northern European country.
Marin has risen swiftly in Finnish politics after she became head of the city council at the age of 27. She became a member of the Parliament of Finland in 2015 and was appointed as the Minister of Transport and Communication in June 2019. In seven years, she already has a wide experience in politics.
In party politics, Marin served as the first vice president of the Social Democratic Youth between 2010 and 2012.
She has a Master’s degree in Administrative Sciences from the University of Tampere, the industrial town in which she was elected the city council head.
Marin and her partner Markus Räikkönen parent a child.
“I myself have never thought about my age or my gender, but rather about the issues for which I took on politics and about the reasons for which we were trusted in the elections,” she told a TV channel after her selection as the prime minister candidate by her party.
“There are more women in the Parliament’s composition than ever before…Voters and citizens wish to see more women in top positions, bearing even the heaviest responsibilities the society can offer,” Marin told a news agency.
OTHER CABINET COLLEAGUES
Born in 1987, Li Andersson is the leader of the Left Alliance party. In June 2019, she was elected as the Minister of Education in the Rinne Cabinet. According to Reuters, Andersson will continue as the education minister in the Marin-led cabinet.
Andersson, in fact, also chaired The Left Youth of Finland from 2011 to 2015 and has been leading the Left Alliance as the party leader since 2016. She holds a bachelor degree in Social Sciences. Andersson’s bio on her website states, “I study international law at Abo Akademi University and I am specializing in international human rights law and refugee law.”
Maria Ohisalo, leader of the Green League party, was appointed as the Minister of the Interior in June 2019, and may continue to lead the same ministry in the new cabinet.
Ohisalo hails from Helsinki and is a sports enthusiast. She graduated from the Makelanrinne Sports Gymnasium in 2004. She continued her education to pursue a Master’s degree in social science followed by a doctorate in sociology.
She joined the Green League in 2008 and was elected as the party leader in 2019 post which she took over the interior ministry.
Katri Kulmuni, 32, is the leader of Centre Party of Finland. She was appointed as the Minister of Economic Affairs in June 2019 and then, as the Deputy Prime Minister of Finland in September 2019.
She has a Master’s degree in social science from the University of Lapland, and has been a member of the Parliament of Finland since 2015.
Anna Maja Henrikkson, 55, is a law graduate who joined politics in 1996 and became a member of the Swedish People’s Party.
In June 2016, she was elected as the leader of the Swedish People’s Party with which she became the first female head of the party. She has been a member of the Parliament of Finland since 2007. Also, Anna served as Finland’s Minister of Justice from June 2011.
A native of Jakobstad in Finland, Anna is a true sports enthusiast and loves football and ice hockey. She got married to Janne Henriksson in 1991 and has two daughters.