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
  • paper_girl
    paper_girlTuesday, December 17, 2019 at 11:33 am
    It is cool that she is the youngest prime minister not just the youngest female prime minister.
    • paper_girl
      paper_girlTuesday, December 17, 2019 at 11:34 am
      And that she doesn't think about her age and gender.
    • msedmak
      msedmakTuesday, December 17, 2019 at 4:56 am
      cool
      • cool3
        cool3Monday, December 16, 2019 at 6:19 pm
        i completed the vocabulary list word search :D like if you did too
        • cool3
          cool3Monday, December 16, 2019 at 6:12 pm
          let's go democracy! nobody likes communist. like this comment if you like democracy and not communist or reply if you like communist and not democracy
          • emolady
            emoladySunday, December 29, 2019 at 9:40 pm
            The concept of communism is lovely. However, people twisted and manipulated the concept to benefit themselves. The idea that 'What's mine is yours and we can all pitch in to achieve our goals' is not at all bad. Still, democracy has proven to be more effective in providing to the people what they want, and of their own choice!
          • zeraora
            zeraoraMonday, December 16, 2019 at 12:56 pm
            nice cool
            • yaboizack
              yaboizackSunday, December 15, 2019 at 4:41 pm
              "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." This is, to me, just like when Hillary Clinton said something similar to this. These young women aren't focusing on their fame just because they are young, they do not want fame just because they are young or they are women, these people are focusing on their fame in politics and in office not their genders or age
              • getitgirl
                getitgirlSunday, December 15, 2019 at 6:07 pm
                Us young beautiful girl and boys can all look up to her it doesn't matter what age or gender what matters is us wakeing up in the morning and asking, did we make a difference yesterday or did we make the right chioce cause the next generation is us(if you agree follow me-getitgirl)
                • ajg16
                  ajg16Monday, December 16, 2019 at 4:44 pm
                  Wow I absolutely love how both of y'all out that
              • getitgirl
                getitgirlSunday, December 15, 2019 at 12:29 pm
                Yes indeed 🙋👩👸
                • watchoutboy
                  watchoutboySunday, December 15, 2019 at 5:58 pm
                  I'm not a girl but I do have power
                • getitgirl
                  getitgirlSunday, December 15, 2019 at 11:59 am
                  Us girls are on a role
                  • superstar2200
                    superstar2200Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 10:02 am
                    She is such a POWERFUL role model for young girls in her country #girlpower
                    • hungrybowl423
                      hungrybowl423Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 5:17 am
                      I love this! LETS GO GIRL POWER!