The growth of women’s participation in parliamentary elections began in the 1970s, when the percentage of female candidates exceeded 40% for the first time in the 1991 elections. Since then, the percentage has hovered around 40 percent for a long time, but now it has crossed the threshold for the 2019 and 2023 elections.
The percentage of female candidates varies by party. The share of female candidates is the highest in Vihri, 60.8%, and the lowest in Liike Nyti, 34.5%. In addition to the Greens, SDP and the Left Alliance have more female than male candidates. The feminist party has the most female candidates, 84.6 percent, while the Citizens’ Party has none. All in all, 47.5 percent of all candidates in the parliamentary elections are women. In parties and electoral unions that did not elect representatives in the 2019 elections, the percentage of female candidates is 30.6%.
The share of female candidates has increased in about half of the political parties, of which SDP had the biggest increase, almost 7 percentage points, while the Swedish People’s Party (RKP) had fallen the most, more than 6 percentage points.
The share of foreign speakers among all candidates in the 2023 parliamentary elections is 2.8%. Almost 60% of them are candidates in constituencies of Helsinki or Uusimaa. Among the candidates of the Left Alliance, the largest number speak foreign languages, 7.4 percent. Of all those entitled to vote, 5.2% speak Swedish and 3.1% speak languages other than Finnish or Swedish.
The number and share of foreign speakers entitled to vote has grown steadily during the last parliamentary elections. The number has risen from less than 50,000 in the 2011 elections to more than 132,000. However, the direction of the candidates is not as clear. Since the number of foreign-language candidates is relatively small, the changes between individual elections can also be influenced by chance,” says Wallenius.
Of the candidates with a foreign background, 2.6% are from a foreign background and 3.2% of those entitled to vote are from a foreign background. However, the share of people with a foreign background in the entire population of Finland is higher, because only Finnish citizens are eligible to vote and stand as candidates. For example, in 2021, 8.5% of the population living in Finland had a foreign background.
Among the parliamentary parties, the Left Party has the most candidates with a foreign background, 7.4 percent of the party’s candidates, while Liike Nyt, Perussuomalaiset, Kristillisdemokraatit and Keskusta have the fewest.
Source: The Nordic Page