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Concluding Observations, CEDAW/C/FIN/CO/7, 20 February 2014: Finland

10. The Committee welcomes the proposed amendment to the Act on Equality between Women and Men, which expands the definition of sex and gender-based discrimination to include discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. The Committee notes with concern, however, that the Act on Equality between Women and Men and the Non-Discrimination Act do not currently provide adequate protection to women against multiple or intersecting forms of discrimination.

11. The Committee urges the State party to ensure that reforms explicitly affording protection to women against multiple or intersecting forms of discrimination in all national gender equality and anti-discrimination laws are adopted in a harmonized manner.


Violence against women

18. The Committee expresses appreciation for the efforts of the State party to prevent intimate partner violence and domestic violence, including through the adoption of the Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women 2010-2015, and the assurance provided by the State party to the Committee during the constructive dialogue that it would shortly ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. The Committee is, however, concerned:

(g) That other services available for victims of gender-based violence, including rape crisis centres, 24-hour helpline services and walk-in centres, are lacking.

19. Recalling its general recommendation No. 19 on violence against women, the Committee calls upon the State party:

(g) To open rape crisis centres, walk-in centres and 24-hour, free-of-charge helplines that provide protection and assistance to all women victims of violence, including migrant women, women with disabilities and women belonging to sexual minorities …



28. The Committee notes with concern the increase in cases of depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, alcohol-related diseases and suicide among women and girls in the State party. The Committee is also concerned about the obligation on transgender persons to prove infertility or undergo sterilization for the legal recognition of their gender under the Law on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals of 2002. The Committee is further concerned about the legal provisions that allow sterilization and contraception treatments for women with mental disabilities upon consent of a third party (legal representative) if a woman is deemed incapable of giving her consent.

29. The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Take the measures necessary to address the deteriorating mental health situation of young women and girls and to prevent and address the abuse of alcohol and drugs, in addition to suicide, including through awareness-raising and educational campaigns targeted at adolescent girls, in particular in the media;

(b) Expeditiously amend the Law on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals to ensure that gender recognition is carried out without requiring transgender persons to conform to stereotypical ideas of masculine or feminine appearance or behaviour and that it does not require individuals to consent to sterilization;

(c) Take immediate steps to repeal section 2 of the Sterilization Act, which permits the sterilization of women with disabilities who have limited legal capacity or who have been deprived of their legal capacity without their consent.


Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CEDAW-Finland-2014-eng