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The Position of Finnish Women: Regional and Cross-National Comparisons

Elina Haavio-Mannila
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 31, No. 2, Cross-Cultural Family Research (May, 1969), pp. 339-347
DOI: 10.2307/349951
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/349951
Page Count: 9
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The Position of Finnish Women: Regional and Cross-National Comparisons
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Abstract

The position of women in Finland is compared with that in the other Scandinavian countries and the Soviet Union on the basis of census and interview data. The high proportion of women at the universities, in the labor force, and in the parliament is accompanied by a traditional division of labor at home and by traditional attitudes towards equality of the sexes in society and family. This discrepancy between (1) formal behavior and (2) informal behavior and attitudes causes strain. A radical sex role debate has for some years been conducted in order to bring changes in the situation. The political activity of women in eastern Finland points to some kind of "matriarchal" tradition there. The attitudes towards women's and men's equality are more favorable in eastern than western Finland, too. However, no difference in the division of house hold tasks can be seen between these parts of the country. Women in eastern Finland take care of the housework even when they are active in society. According to international comparisons, Finnish women may in general be characterized as active but not very strong nor appreciated.

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