Angela Merkel championed for gender equality
My working day today was dominated by a matter of great importance: the Finnish Government awarded its first International Gender Equality Prize to Germany's Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel was informed about the prize back in December, but today the prize money was directed to a civil society organisation that she selected herself.
Angela Merkel acts as an example to women and girls around the world. She is one of the most powerful women in Europe and the world at large. Through her work, Chancellor Merkel has shown particular resilience, skill and leadership.
As a European colleague, I have been able to follow her work closely. She is extremely analytical. I like working with her.
Today in Tampere, Germany’s Ambassador to Finland received the prize on behalf of Chancellor Merkel. Merkel decided to allocate the EUR 150,000 prize money to a Niger civil society organisation advocating the rights of women and girls. The organisation is planning to use the money to establish a residential shelter.
In her video greeting, Angela Merkel emphasised that women becoming victims of violence simply because they are women is something that we must not tolerate. In Finland, too, there is a considerable amount of domestic violence – too many Finnish women end up seeking protection in a residential shelter. We have a lot to do in our own country to better protect the sanctity of the home.
Gender equality is one of the core values of Finnish society. This is why the Finnish Government launched the International Gender Equality Prize in 2017, the year in which Finland celebrated the centenary of its independence.