Browsing by Subject "equality"

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  • Ikävalko, Elina; Brunila, Kristiina (2019)
    Researchers often find themselves reflecting on either/or questions. This article examines the multiple discursive reality of gender equality, a topic comprising several juxtapositions connected to either/or thinking which also provide the topic its legitimacy. The examples come from the context of gender equality work and gender equality policy, which has been shaped in Finland by public bodies focused on equality, the Government and Government bodies, ministries, political parties, labour market organizations and NGOs, particularly the women's movement. Our aim was to establish a discursive-deconstructive reading that would allow us to move from either/or thinking to a both/and approach. This kind of approach enables to consider and acknowledge differences as cultural categorisations enabling to categorize and hierarchise people.
  • Heikkilä, Mikaela; Katsui, Hisayo; Mustaniemi-Laakso, Maija (2020)
    Universal human rights of all are complemented with particular, targeted protection of some, especially those that traditionally have been left behind. By juxtaposing the ideas of universality and particularity, the article studies vulnerability as a particularising tool within human rights with a comparative approach to the influential vulnerability theory by Martha Fineman. By outlining the similarities and the differences between the two approaches of vulnerability theory and human rights project, the article sheds light on how the particular protection needs of persons with disabilities play out in the universalistic logic of vulnerability. The article argues that both universal and particular obligations of responsive states – and responsive humans – are needed as a way of materialising substantive equality for persons with disabilities as vulnerable legal subjects. Such obligations cannot be codified in full detail, but the intrinsic essence of rights requires each right to be interpreted in context and with regard to the particular individual vulnerabilities and resilience of each person. In operationalising the obligations arising from such rights, the human rights project and the vulnerability theory complement and reinforce each other in terms of specifying the rationale and the detailed benchmarks for state action.
  • Karlsson, Tia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The MeToo movement struck like a flash of light through social media worldwide in 2017. Since then, the dialogue concerning sexual harassment has continued, despite the discussion remaining subdued in several places. The deep-rooted culture of silence seems to choke the words in our throats. How should the prevailing silence be broken? The purpose of this research is to investigate the forms of sexual harassment that occur at Finnish workplaces and the consequences these harassments have for individual victims and entire work communities. Furthermore, I am interested in how sexual harassment is prevented in Finland. The theoretical framework consists of definitions of sexual harassment and the MeToo phenomenon as well as an examination of current legislation, previous research and the construction of the culture of silence. The research was conducted as a qualitative study with a phenomenographic research approach. In addition, an educational-feminist perspective has been used, which is illustrated as the perception that knowledge is produced collectively and is context-bound. The material consists of five semi-structured interviews. The material collected from the interviews was analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The results revealed that the informants ask for clear practices for action when there is a suspicion that sexual harassment takes place in the workplace. Further, different ways of harassment are described as well as workplace cultures, which enable harassment, discrimination and the current culture of silence. The consequences of sexual harassment vary between individuals, two of the informants sought outside help, two did not mention the topic at work and one did not experience the harassment at work as particularly anxiety-provoking. With my research, I want to highlight concrete practices through which Finnish work communities can effectively fix and prevent the occurrence of sexual harassment.
  • Pihlaja, Ulla-Kaisa (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Namibia has gone through great changes since its independence in 1990. The new constitution illegalized the apartheid rule and racial discrimination, but the history has left its marks on the contemporary society. The class inequalities are one the biggest in the world, and they still intertwine with the racial and tribal memberships. Although any kind of discrimination is strictly forbidden in the society, the prejudices still remain. Furthermore, the gender roles are in transition and women encounter multiple, sometimes conflicting expectations. In this context, the thesis studies multidimensional identity from the perspective of decency. More specifically, it explores how decency is conceived among black female nurses of Katutura township in Windhoek. The study investigates how the racial, tribal, gender, class and professional identities intersect and contribute to the perceptions of a ‘decent person’. The study also discovers how young women try to answer simultaneously to the traditional and modern female ideals. Lastly, the thesis illustrates how the class dominance, traditional gender roles and the ethnic and racial prejudices are resisted and reproduced through the perceptions on decency. In terms of class-related decency was demonstrated by diving the ‘indecent them’ to the upper and lower classes. The whites and the majority tribe of Owambos were accused of being discriminatory and having better opportunities in life. The lower classes were instead stigmatized as lazy and immoral individuals, who did not deserve the higher socio-economic positions. Thus, both the better and worse-off were claimed being less respectable than the interviewed nurses, who represented the middle class. However, the interviewees also identified with the lower class and admitted that the societal structures hindered their class mobility. To summarize, they simultaneously maintained and resisted the class dominance. Class also had a strong link to the female respectability. On the other hand, the modern woman was expected to be independent, to take care of herself and not to rely on the assistance of men. As the interviewees had succeeded in this, they achieved the dignity of a modern working woman. Still, on the other hand, the traditions expected them to follow the old gender roles. The conflicting expectations became apparent, for example when discussing the ‘ideal nurse’. The decent nurse was supposed to be a feminine mother-type of a figure, who put herself last in order to help others. Still, also the high professional expertise made the ‘proper nurse’. In this way, the nursing profession both strengthened and faded the women’s femininity and simultaneously rejected and reproduced the traditional gender ideals. However, it was the co-existence of the traditional and modern decency that enabled the nurses to maintain their respectability in the changing society. Regarding the racial and tribal relations, any kind of discrimination was condemned. Nevertheless, the condemnation was also an issue of differentiating those who had a good sense of morals and those who did not. The interviewees argued that the whites were still racist, but that they themselves promoted equality like a decent person should do. Considering this, it is controversial that they seemed to forget the principles of the universal equality when talking about the ethnic difference. They reproduced the same prejudices they judged in regard to racial discrimination. Moreover, they underlined their old and new identities as they draw strong lines between the racial and tribal groups, but also claimed for absolute equity. In this light, it is possible to argue that the societal transformation has a great impact on the decency perceptions of the Namibians. The historical stances remain side by side the ideologies of the post-apartheid era, although the attitudinal change is taking place. The class inequalities and discrimination clash with the aspirations of equality, the traditional gender roles are challenged by the modern female respectabilities and the group relations are defined by both reconciliation and boundary making.
  • Kataja, Ulla (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Aims: Public health care in Finland has the main responsibility of rehabilitation, which means that public health care has to provide for persons with the severe disabilities the therapy or the rehabilitation needed. If a person fulfills the criteria of having severe disablity he is admitted Disability Allowance at its middle or highest rate. This is required for getting medical rehabilitation for persons with severe disabilities, which in Finland is financed by KELA. The speech therapy for the severely disabled organized by KELA is mainly carried out by private sector. There were approximately 500 private speech therapists under the contract of KELA during 2011-2014. Altogether 7439 persons were receiving speech therapy by KELA in 2014. The speech therapists under the contract of KELA are divided somewhat unevenly in Finland, therefore the availability of speech therapy is not equal in the whole land. Particularly areas with less inhabitants seem to suffer from inequality. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 3.5.2008 was aimed at guaranteeing equal human rights to disabled people and to promote and support their human value. Methods: This Master's thesis looks at the availability of speech therapy in Finland both quantitatively based on open statistics by KELA and qualitatively on the nature of positive and negative decisions in the Medical District of Kanta-Häme. Results and Conclusions: The availability of speech therapy for persons with severe disabilities is not by KELAs statistics fully equal in Finland. The uneven division of speech therapists has lead to the fact that there are for example, at the insurance district of Oulu considerably more speech therapists than at the insurance district of Satakunta.The speech therapists under contract of KELA are like many other highly educated people situated close by the universities and other schooling areas, By U.N agreement the persons with disabilities should have rehabilitation near where they live and timing it optimally.The severity of language impairment was the main reason in positive decisions in the Medical District of Kanta-Häme and the insufficiency of arguments in the negative ones, which seem to refer to the fact that there, with an adequate application, speech therapy is guaranteed for the persons with most severe disabilities. One of the aims of the future social welfare and health care reform is to improve the availability of speech therapy in Finland. It remains to be seen how successfully it will answer the growing need.
  • Tiisala, Katja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This master’s thesis defends the moral equality and rights of sentient animals. The investigation covers equal deontological moral rights to freedom, bodily integrity, life and not to be treated as a mere means: that is, equal negative basic rights to respectful treatment and freedom from harm. Tom Regan’s Rights View stands as the groundbreaking defence of these rights for human and nonhuman subjects-of-a-life. Subjects-of-a-life are equally and inherently valuable animals who have an experiential welfare, agency, preferences and cognitive abilities like memory. All psychologically paradigmatic mammals, birds and fishes at least are subjects-of-a-life. Regan’s chief work, "The Case for Animal Rights" published in 1983, presents the subject-of-a-life criterion as the sufficient criterion for rights possession and leaves the necessary criterion open. This research examines the sufficient and necessary criterion for equal negative basic rights in Regan’s Rights View. The most plausible criterion is sentience according to the research results. All sentient beings feel pleasure and pain. At the minimum, all vertebrates and certain invertebrates are sentient right-holders, possibly all animals with a nervous system qualify. "The Case" and Regan’s other publications are focal sources for this primarily intra-theoretical scrutiny. Subsequent literature in animal ethics supplements the analysis, inter alia the writings by Gary Francione, Christine Korsgaard and Joan Dunayer who defend the sentience criterion for deontological rights. Critical disability studies literature supports the equality of the rights in this research. This thesis justifies both the equality and the scope of negative basic rights. In what comes to the scope, the sufficient and necessary criterion is sentience, because all and only sentient beings are vulnerable to harmful actions. I argue that this vulnerability grounds rights possession. Vulnerability to harming coexists with experiential welfare and is the morally relevant similarity shared by right-holders, according to my interpretation of Regan’s arguments. Sentience means affective individuality and having an experiential welfare. No sentient being should prima facie be harmed, which implies protection through negative basic rights. Non-sentient entities lack an experiential welfare. They can neither be literally harmed nor possess the rights. In what comes to the equality, these rights are equal in order to avoid ableism (i.e. discrimination based on abilities), speciesism (i.e. discrimination based on species) or any other arbitrary discrimination based on coincidental factors out of an individual’s control. Applying the subject-of-a-life criterion as the necessary condition for the rights and the sentience criterion for lower moral standing would epitomise ableism. Hence, I conclude that only experiential welfare is relevant for rights possession instead of the abilities mentioned in the subject-of-a-life criterion or any other abilities. All sentient beings have rights to respectful treatment and freedom from harm equally. Notwithstanding, the right to freedom can belong solely to sentient beings who are intentional agents. The sentience criterion entails a duty to transform societies fundamentally for the sake of abolitionist justice in the Reganian sense. Instead of regulating the use of sentient nonhumans, we should universally eradicate the disrespectful commercial utilisation of them. Sentient nonhumans and humans are equal, inherently valuable individuals who have an affective inner world. They should never be treated as mere means, resources, property or commodities.
  • Eriksson, Päivi; Hearn, Jeff; Jyrkinen, Marjut; Merilainen, Susan; Moisander, Johanna; Niemi, Hertta; Rolin, Kristina; Vanhala, Sinikka; Henttonen, Elina; Hiillos, Minna; Katila, Saija; Tallberg, Teemu (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Research Reports
    Viimeaikainen sukupuolta ja organisaatiota käsittelevä tutkimus ja kirjallisuus on saanut paljon (toisinaan epäsuoria) vaikutteita feminismiä ympäröivistä keskusteluista. Lisäksi naisten aseman ja kokemuksien tunnistaminen organisaatioissa ja johtamisessa on vaikuttanut tutkimukseen. Erilaisten kansainvälisesti tutkittujen aiheiden kirjo on laaja: sukupuolisuhteet organisaatioiden ja johtoryhmien kulttuureissa ja kommunikaatiossa; sukupuolittunut työnjako; sukupuolittuneet hierarkiat, valta, auktoriteetti ja johtajuus organisaatioissa ja johtamisessa; sukupuolittuneet markkinat; sukupuolittuneet kuvat, symbolit ja mainokset; sukupuoli ja IT teknologia; seksuaalisuus, häirintä, kiusaaminen ja väkivalta organisaatioissa; työn ja kodin yhteensovittaminen; ja niin edelleen. Myös akateemiset organisaatiot sekä niiden sukupuolittuneet valtasuhteet ja johtaminen kaipaavat kipeästi huomiota. Useimpia mainituista alueista on tutkittu ainakin jonkin verran mutta paljon työtä on vielä myös jäljellä. Tämä kokoelma esittelee ajankohtaista suomalaista tutkimusta seuraavista teemoista: tasa-arvo organisaatioissa, naisjohtajuus, yrittäjyyden sukupuoli, verkostot, sukupuolen representaatio sekä sukupuoli ja uusi teknologia. Kokoelma on työryhmän yhdessä koostama joten se on ennen kaikkea yhteistyön tulos. Recent research and literature on the gendering of organisations has been strongly influenced, though sometimes indirectly, by debates in and around feminism, and on recognising women and women’s situations, experiences and voices in organisations and management. The range of topics and issues that have been studied internationally is vast: gender relations in organizational and management groups, cultures and communication; gender divisions of labour; gender divisions of hierarchy, power, authority and leadership in organizations and management; gendered markets; gender imagery, symbols and advertising; gender and information technology; sexuality, harassment, bullying and violence in organisations; home-work relations; and so on. There are also key issues of gender power relations in academic organizations and management themselves, which need urgent attention. Though most of these areas have been researched to some extent, much remains to be done. This collection brings together current Finnish research on: Equality in Organisations, Women in Management, Gender and Entrepreneurship, Networks, Representation of Gender, Gender and ICTs. The book has been put together by an editorial team and is thus first and foremost a collective effort.
  • Tervola, Jussi (Kela, 2018)
    Studies in social security and health 149
    Contemporary welfare states actively promote their key values and goals, such as gender equality and high employment. In family policy, these goals are pursued with allocated parental leave for both parents and subsidized day care services, for instance. However, it is known from previous research that parental leave is divided less equally between parents in immigrant families than in other families, and children with immigrant background participate less in centre-based day care despite the evidence that they would benefit from it the most. This study sets out to scrutinize immigrant families’ care choices and their determinants in Finland and Sweden. The study is based on comprehensive administrative register data, and the choices are observed from the take-up of different benefits. Economic and demographic factors are considered through regression analysis. Immigrant fathers in both Finland and Sweden show clearly lower take-up rates of paternity and parental leave than native-born fathers. Generally, though, the take-up rates of immigrant fathers are much higher in Sweden than in Finland, and the gap between the countries is largely traced back to differences in policy systems. However, the study also provides evidence that social norms play a role in fathers’ parental leave use, even between Finnish-born and Swedish-born fathers. Moreover, immigrant families’ choices between child home care and day care follow the pattern previously found in some European and US studies. In Finland, with strong policy support for both home and day care, immigrant families take care of their children at home longer than native-borns. However, after the child turns three, immigrants demonstrate an increasing preference for day care, even more so than native families. This may reflect immigrant-specific preferences for children’s integration and language acquisition. All in all, it seems that care choices in immigrant families have many distinct features compared to the majority families. Nevertheless, this study provides evidence that care choices can be steered and family policy goals approached through efficient and consistent policies also among immigrant populations.
  • Teräs, Tiina (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Previous studies (Eidevald 2009, Lappalainen 2006, Odenbring 2010, Värtö 2000 and Ylitapio-Mäntylä 2009) have shown that early childhood educators have different attitudes towards girls than towards boys. In this study I examine gender and equality in child day care in Finland. The study is a multimethodic feminist and educational study. It has been conducted using content analysis as well as aspects of ethnographical research, conversation analysis and discourse analysis. The research material was collected in a Helsinki nursery school where I spent three days observing and videotaping three educators working with a group of children aged 3–5 years. I also carried out interviews with the educators. The analysis focuses on the educators’ verbal interaction with the children and their thoughts on gender and equality and how these have been taken into account in the early childhood education practices. In verbal communication I paid particular attention to the way the educators praised the girls and boys. I also examined which gendered expressions were used. In addition, I analysed two phenomena which were shown in the empirical material: boys and technology and a girl who on a few occasions was left almost entirely without attention. I divide the data from the interviews into two themes: the educators’ thoughts on girls and boys, and their views on the nursery school’s gendered and equality practices. I was also interested in finding out the educators' opinion of the way the children's parents collaborate with the nursery school. The analysis shows that the educators praise boys more than girls. Praise content and structure were also different when praising boys than when praising girls. The results confirmed earlier research findings on gendered practices in early childhood education. The interactions strengthened the view that technology belongs to boys. The girls were expected to be more independent in, for example, dressing and undressing situations. In the interviews the educators described boys more active and girls as more skillful in tasks requiring precision. They mentioned also that nowadays fathers get more involved in the collaboration with the nursery school than before. Although the educators opinion was that the nursery school promotes equality, a detailed analysis shows that equality doesn’t exist in all early childhood practices. Further studies on gender and equality are definitely needed in the field of early childhood education.
  • Lehtola, Annika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The purpose of this study is to investigate how race and racism are understood in the policy documents called Equality Plans of the Finnish language-based Universities of Applied Sciences. The research questions are 1) what is said about racism and other related concepts in the Equality Plans, and 2) where and in relation to what are they acknowledged? Moreover, the study examines how whiteness and other values of Finnish society are reflected in the Equality Plans and what types of solutions higher educational institutions offer to racism. The analytical reading of the Equality Plans is informed by the theoretical framework that includes perspectives of critical whiteness, intersectional postcolonial feminism, Nordic exceptionalism to racism and colonialism, and feminist and education policy studies that discuss interpretations and practices of equality in educational institutions. The research material includes Equality Plans in eighteen Finnish language-based Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland. The analysis utilises the tools of the abductive content analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis in identifying the explicit and implicit meanings connected to race and racism. The results of the study indicate that the understanding of race in Finnish policy documents is vague, and the synonyms such as “ethnicity” are connected to ethnic and racialised minorities. The solutions for racism are abstract and appeal to the attitudes of the university community instead of challenging the structures that maintain and produce racism. According to this study, whiteness remains unrecognised and unquestioned in higher education institutions. Thus, resisting racism and promoting equality and justice requires a systematic and profound analysis of institutional whiteness in higher education structures and practices. The results align with the previous research on policy documents in Finnish education institutions, contributing to the discussion with Universities of Applied Sciences.
  • Sandal, Gökçe (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This study explores the topics of equality and inclusion of non-Western immigrant artists into the Western mainstream arts scene. Through an intersectional research focus, it argues that being a woman from a non-Western ethnic background and being an artist create site specific challenges for artists in gaining recognition and success within the industry. The main argument states that the Western art world still carries neocolonial overtones, and that the institutional practices of multiculturalism rely on a problematic manner of tokenism which creates a new stereotype of an exotic non-Western artist with strong roots in their cultural backgrounds. As a case study, this thesis analyzes the topic of equality in the contemporary Swedish art scene, as well as the artistic intervention strategies the artists employ to challenge the hierarchical and exclusive traits in the arts industry. The works of art by two women artists/artist duos practicing in Sweden, namely Roxy Farhat and Mahoyo, are examined through a visual content analysis method to explore art’s function as a means of critical intervention into the systems of oppression and marginalization. Through the critical works of art by the afore-mentioned artists, the study aims to answer the question of how artistic personal narratives of intersectional identities confront and challenge the grand narratives on multiculturalism, anti-racism and gender equality in the Swedish context. It is concluded that artistic narratives of intersectional identities are of great importance since they reclaim the right to define themselves, and to get their own perspectives acknowledged in an industry that still tends rely on stereotypical definitions of the other. By using art as a political and critical tool, these artists demand transformation from the arts scene to do away with privileges and to better accommodate different identities and perspectives.
  • Venäläinen, Satu (2020)
    Whether intimate partner violence (IPV) is a gendered phenomenon or not is a question that continuously arouses debate both among scholars and the general public. This article analyses meaning-making around IPV and gender in online discussions that focus on IPV committed by women. The analysis draws upon critical discursive psychology, and identifies ideological dilemmas, interpretative repertoires and subject positions related in the discussions to the relevance of gender, on the one hand, and gender equality, on the other. The ideological dilemmas focused on the relevance of gender revolve around a gender-neutral repertoire and a gendered difference repertoire, while those focused on gender equality centre on the opposing repertoires of gender equality as a commonplace value and gender equality gone wrong. A more detailed examination of how these repertoires are constructed, negotiated, and used in the discussions reveals a pattern where discursive devices such as factualisation techniques are employed in combination with an affectively emphatic style of expression in ways that, for the most part, work to discredit the value of feminist understandings of links between IPV, gender, and power, while, instead, valorising seeming gender neutrality.