A Women’s Issue is an Issue for All of Us
To create opportunities for women is to create opportunities for the success of families, communities, and entire nations. In my opinion, it is only fitting that Women’s Bank, which focuses on lifting women and families up from poverty, has risen from a country like Finland where women were successfully involved in the world of business and work even long before our independence, being in the very hub of helping to lift our country out of poverty.
Women’s Bank is an unusually exemplary success story and there is a worldwide demand for its campaigns and projects.
It is with particular pleasure that I, too, have joined in promoting Women’s Bank activities during my time at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and I would like to express my appreciation for your tangible and sustainable actions among people in need of help.
Improving the status of women is strongly linked to the structures and activities of the rest of society. The improvement of family economies by allowing women to enter the workforce of society calls for a change of attitude, but also for the development of various services, such as day care.
In terms of education, working life, and social status, the women of the developing world are in a pain spot and so development work that is both earmarked and target-oriented plays a key role in responding to these challenges. Improving the status of women also reduces the likelihood of armed conflict in the regions in question. Women have played increasingly important roles in the resolution of armed conflicts and hopefully they will continue to do so. As Minister of the Interior, I think successful conflict resolution is also often reflected indirectly in the number of asylum seekers in Finland and Europe, so in my view this is a matter that affects us all.
Women’s Bank is a positive and recognised brand. The name of the organisation is known even if its activities are not. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of opportunities for growth. The resources for development work cooperation by Finland and other similar countries are modest and unfortunately recent years have seen the policies of even major countries turning to austerity. However, with global cooperation, strong conviction, and new ways of action we can still continue to reach our goals for the improvement of the status of women as well.
Minister of the Interior