Finland: An exhibition of Women’s Rooms celebrates a century striving for female equity Print E-mail


Women's Rooms – 100 Years of Lives and Actions

March 9 to August 28, 2011

(Helsinki City Museum)

The National Council of Women of Finland celebrates its centennial with the exhibition Women's Rooms – Lives and Actions. It presents Finnish women's organizations and a century of their hard work for equality, a room of their own and a rightful place in the society. Many bold and innovative Finnish women and their accomplishments are presented in the Sederholm House, built in 1757, which is the oldest building in downtown Helsinki.

Sederholm House
Aleksanterinkatu 18, Helsinki
Tel. +358 (0)9 3103 6529
Open: Wed–Sun 11–17.00 hrs, Thu 11–19
Mon & Tue closed


100 Years of Women's Voices and Action in Finland

(Helsinki City Museum)

Exhibition brochure in pdf HERE

The National Council of Women of Finland has produced an exhibition called "100 Years of Women’s Voices and Action in Finland” to celebrate the Finnish women’s accomplishments on the road of gaining equal rights and status with men in the country over the past 100 years.

The exhibition has been touring the United States since 2007.

In 2006, Finland celebrated the 100th anniversary of a pioneering parliamentary reform and events that introduced equal and universal suffrage in the country and gave full political rights to all women as well as men at the same time. The new law, passed on June 1, 1906 (came into force on October 1) made Finnish women in spring 1907 the first women in the world to become members of Parliament.

The exhibition presents the history of Finnish women with pictures and graphics. One of the features is a gallery of remarkable Finnish women, leading up to the country’s current president, Mrs. Tarja Halonen. The milestones of women’s progress in Finland are presented over a timeline from 1901 to the present: for example, in 1901 Finnish women could enroll in universities on equal basis with men; in 1922, they could accept employment without their husbands’ permission; in 1926, they could apply to civil service posts with the same benefits as men; in 1930, they were recognized as having legal status even if married; in 1950, they received abortion rights; in 1963, they received equal pay with men in civil service posts; in 1973 local governments became obliged to provide daycare for children; in 1987, equality between women and men was recognized in law; in 1994, rape and violence against women even in marriage became punishable by law; from 2000, workplaces have had to draw up equality programs and supervise their implementation.

Finland obtained the country’s first woman Speaker of Parliament in 1994, the first woman President (still in office) in 2000, and the first woman Prime Minister in 2003. In the year 2011, Finland has a female Prime Minister. 11 out of the 20 Cabinet Ministers are women, as are 39 percent of the Members of Parliament, elected without a quota system for women.

100 Years of Women's Voices and Action Exhibition in Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle

Exhibition Tour in the United States

  • Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle, WA. September 10, 2010 – November 14, 2010.
  • Columbia University's International Affairs Building, New York, NY. September 21 – October 9, 2009.
  • Rutgers University Center for European Studies, New Jersey, NY. October 2008.
  • Consulate General of Finland, New York, NY. 2008.
  • Sewell-Belmont House & Museum, Washington, D.C. August 7, 2007 – December 15, 2007.

Reviews and News Articles
Nordic Museum looks to Finland during centennial of women voting. West Seattle Herald. 2010-09-21.