Finland's Sanna Marin Becomes The World's Youngest Prime Minister

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Finland's new Prime Minister, Sanna Marin Is the world's youngest sitting premier (Credit: Demarit/CC-BY-SA-2.0/Flickr)

While America's highest office — the presidency — remains elusive to women, Finland has just elected its third female premier. Even more impressive, 34-year-old Sanna Marin, who was sworn into office on December 10, 2019, is the youngest prime minister in Finland's history, and the world's youngest sitting government head. Prior to this, that honor belonged to New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern, who was 37 years old when she took office in October 2017.

Ms. Marin, who belongs to the Social Democratic Party of Finland, will form a coalition government with four other parties, which — you guessed it— are also led by women, three of whom are younger than 35! Katri Kulmuni, 32, head of the Centre Party, will take on the role of Finance Minister, while Maria Ohisalo, 34, of the Green League, will serve as Finland's Interior Minister. Rounding up the female-dominated cabinet will be Left Alliance chairwoman Li Andersson, 32, as the Education Minister, and Swedish People's Party leader Anna-Maja Henriksson, 55, who will continue her previous role as the country's Justice Minister.

Sanna Marin's cabinet will comprise young female leaders from four other parties (Credit: Tuomas Niskakangas/Twitter)

Ms. Marin's achievement is even more remarkable because of her modest upbringing and lack of political connections. Born and raised in a low-income household in Helsinki, she is the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and university. Her political career began in 2013 as the City Council head of Tampere, where she currently resides with her partner Markus Raikkonen and their almost-two-year-old daughter Emma. The young leader's ability to fearlessly tackle difficult issues made her extremely popular with the citizens and resulted in a rapid rise through the ranks of her Social Democratic Party. Prior to the election, Ms. Marin, who has been a member of Finland's Parliament since 2015, served as the Minister of Transport and Communications.

Well known for her progressive views, the newly-elected leader is expected to focus her efforts on climate change, equality, and social welfare. In a tweet following her election, Ms. Marin said, “Finland will not be finished in four years, but it can get better. That’s what we’re working on. I want to build a society where every child can become anything, and every person can live and grow in dignity.”

Sanna Marin is the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and university (Credit: Demarit/CC-BY-SA-2.0/Flickr)

Though the world is celebrating her age and gender, Ms. Marin downplays their importance. She told reporters, "I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate."

We hope that young, dynamic leaders like Ms. Marin and Ms. Ardern will pave the way for more female representation in both the government and private sectors worldwide.

Resources: NPR.org, Vox.com, Theguardian.com

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60 Comments
  • carlisabean27
    carlisabean27Monday, February 24, 2020 at 7:10 am
    Good for her! She's doing great! I wish her the best of luck during this term@
    • finny4556
      finny4556Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 1:13 pm
      She is so NICE or at least that is what the article portrays her that way
      • finny4556
        finny4556Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 1:11 pm
        she is SO COOOL
        • kamycyky-157106066068
          kamycyky-157106066068Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 1:11 pm
          GIRLS RULE!
          • mooshroomz
            mooshroomzFriday, January 3, 2020 at 11:33 am
            Good for her
            • sunrose
              sunroseThursday, January 2, 2020 at 9:41 am
              i really love this woman and hoe she encoriges other woman to follow there dreams and no matter how big or small follow your dreams
              • 1000064
                1000064Tuesday, December 31, 2019 at 11:27 am
                OMG she is amazing at her job.She will do great.I think.
                • emolady
                  emoladySunday, December 29, 2019 at 9:46 pm
                  I think she is a wonderful example of what TRUE feminists are. Feminists don't boast that women are better or in some way superior to men. Rather they strive to make it so that men and women are equal. They do things not because they are women, hey do things because they can. Her statment "I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate." solidifies mine.
                  • mg_master_mg
                    mg_master_mgThursday, December 19, 2019 at 9:28 am
                    This is so great and I hope she does a real good job at her job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                    • 0krrrrr
                      0krrrrrWednesday, December 18, 2019 at 9:23 am
                      Its just the fact that she is 34 and she looks that pretty i mean can we all look like that