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SAK: A committee needed to study men's situation

Helsinki (23.03.2012 - Heikki Jokinen) The union confederation SAK is concerned about the situation of men in society. It requests that the government set up a committee to draft a report on the privileges men enjoy and the problems they face to see in which way these are attributable to gender. This would help to better guide future Finnish policy in respect of gender equality.

Some 110,000 young people between the ages of 20 and 30 have no further education other than the 9-year mandatory schooling. About 70,000 of these are men. At all levels men are more likely than women to interrupt their education. Men also participate less in adult education than women.

Weak education has an impact on working life: unemployment for men is more widespread than for women. Men suffer poor health more often than women. In 2010 life expectancy in Finland was 76.7 years for men and 83.2 years for women.

According to SAK, the situation of men is very much a factor in the social sustainability of Finland. The large proportion of men among the long term unemployed, those that are alcoholic, homeless and in prison…is not only a problem for men...but for the whole society.

"At the same time we concede and are well aware that even after many decades of work promoting gender equality men are privileged in many sectors of society. Economic power is still in men's hands", says Saana Siekkinen, the director of SAK's development department.