Trained specialists will increase awareness of equality issues among policy makers in Finland

By on 18.04.2017 in Uncategorized

A unique project that promotes equality and diversity issues into regional development has recently started under the wings of JustEd theme leader Kristiina Brunila.

“In Finland, this is an exceptional specialist training. We want to make sure that equality and diversity issues will be taken into consideration in policy making in all areas in Finland. As it is now, our provincial policy makers lack knowledge on equality and diversity issues, which has consequences such as growing inequality and marginalisation in our society,” Kristiina Brunila, Associate Professor at the University of Helsinki.

The TASOVA project is funded by the European Social Fund, the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the University of Helsinki and is realized as a collaboration with ten organisations.

“We have great partnership with all major gender equality and diversity organizations in Finland,” states TASOVA project manager Leena Teräs.

Policy makers need more knowledge in equality and diversity issues

The project combines development work with training and research with the aim at improving the operational preconditions of equality and diversity issues in provincial policy making, as well as increasing knowledge and awareness of these issues.

All of the ten collaborating organisations have extensive experience in promoting equality in working life and training different target groups in these issues, in e.g. the public sector, private companies and NGOs.

“They all share the enthusiasm and passion towards these matters, and they have broad experience in relation to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race and sexual and gender minorities. Our aim is to learn from each other, share viewpoints and give each other peer support,” says Kristiina.

New specialist training programme

As part of the TASOVA project a specialist training programme in equality and diversity is developed. Additionally, national gender equality and diversity analysis will be developed and synchronized, as well as follow-up methods.

In Sweden the administrative provinces have their own equality specialist with the commission to make sure decision makers take equality and diversity issues into consideration in policy making. With this in mind, Leena Teräs will facilitate the two yearlong education of 22 equality specialists from different parts of the country. These specialists will promote knowledge in equality and diversity issues to provincial policy makers.

The long-term purpose is to establish the education of equality specialist within the AGORA Centre (Study of Social Justice and Equality in Education) at the University of Helsinki.

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