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The Finnish Institute wants to promote a series of programmes focused on important themes and issues, with the aim of fostering mutual understanding between the societies of Britain, Ireland and Finland. Gender issues open up an interesting and rewarding perspective. According to a number of recent international comparative studies, Finland, together with other Nordic countries, is one of the leaders in terms of gender equality. However, both in Finland and the other Nordic countries and in Britain and Ireland, social structures and practices are heavily influenced by gender. The Gender Issues Programme, based at the Finnish Institute, will look at cultural themes in persistent inequalities in the labour market, in education and in political life with respect to the three countries. The programme will include both academic and non-academic projects.

The idea of networking implies new ways of funding. As a forum in which collaborating projects can increase their co-operation, the Institute can help to raise funds for different kinds of joint ventures, from both Finnish and international sources. One important point of departure for the programme is the assumption that substantial financial support from European funds can only be gained by fully exploiting the possibilities of networking.

The preliminary list of participants includes representatives of the Christina Institute (University of Helsinki), the Nordic Institute for Women’s Studies and Gender Research (Oslo), the Council for Equality between Men and Women (Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health) and the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (Helsinki).

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