Finland’s prime minister says young female government has been the target of hate speech

By Essi Lehto and Anne Kauranen

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said she and her fellow young female ministers had been the target of widespread hate speech over their gender and appearance while in office.

“We can see that when you’re young and a woman, the hate speech that we face is often sexualised,” Marin told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday, just over two years into her tenure at the Presidency. Finnish head of state.

Marin, 36, became the world’s youngest serving head of government in December 2019 when she was sworn in as prime minister -idUSKBN1YD0IN, and originally all five party leaders in his centre-left coalition government were women.

Marin, who has more than 540,000 Instagram followers globally, said she doesn’t allow hate speech to affect her decisions but fears social media is becoming more hurtful.

“I worry about so many others and that’s why we want to make sure we don’t condone this kind of behavior.”

Marin made national and international headlines in December when she decided not to cut -covid-19-reports- 2021-12-08 her evening short after discovering she had been exposed to COVID-19 the day before. Four days later, Marin apologized saying she should have acted differently.

Finland’s young prime minister’s clubbing during a pandemic became the subject of memes around the world, some of which were humorous and others insulting.

Some naysayers have attacked her for appearing on the covers of some of the world’s biggest fashion magazines and for being spotted often by pop singers and social media influencers in Helsinki.

“I am who I am, a 36-year-old mother and a young person who has friends and a social life,” she said.

Marin, who enjoys cleaning her own premises and running 20km outdoors, said she wanted to bring a human side to high-level political leadership and show other young adults that young people can lead too.

In December, Finland’s COVID response minister Krista Kiuru announced she was expecting a baby in March, making her the fifth minister in Marin’s government to have a child and take parental leave during its mandate.

“Overall, the image of a leader is still very masculine…and there are few decision makers from a younger generation,” Marin said, stressing that she wanted to change that.

A report from the NATO Strategic Communications Center last February found that female politicians Finnish women are subject to abuse on Twitter, most of which came from groups of right-wing accounts and didn’t seem very coordinated.

(Reporting by Essi Lehto and Anne Kauranen, editing by Mark Heinrich)

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