Association for Women's Studies in Finland has collected information about women's studies at the universities of Finland, research networks and projects and also associations. The information is collected in April 1999.

Womens' Studies at the Finnish Universities

Research Projects and Networks Associations

Individual Researchers: as many individual researchers are not found in the texts, we invite you to see a current list of Finnish women's studies dissertations



Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689), whose realm also included Finland, was the founder of the University of Helsinki, the then Royal Academy of Turku. She was a learned European-minded cultural figure who has been called the Minerva of the North, and the Patroness of the Arts and Sciences. The institute for women's studies is named after her in recognition of her importance in the University's history. The Christina Institute for Women's Studies was founded in 1991; it is connected to the Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki. The Christina Institute promotes women's studies, coordinates and administers relevant instruction, encourages women's studies by providing premises and equipment for researchers, maintains contacts with other institutes for women's studies, and distributes information on women's studies. 

Women's Studies have been offered as a subsidiary subject at the University of Helsinki since 1987. The Women's Studies curriculum is intended to give a general idea of the background, premises and theories of Women's Studies, and to provide insights into present approaches and achievements in the field.

Instruction in Women's Studies is largely provided by the relevant departments and faculties, while interdisciplinary instruction is predominately organized by the Christina Institute. The institute arranges some ten series of lectures and seminars yearly. The departments participating in the programme each have a person in charge of instruction and examinations. The Christina Institute publishes a study guide yearly. 

The English Programme for Women's Studies (20 credits) is an interdisciplinary Master's level programme seeking to introduce international students to the women's situation and the gender system in Finland and the Nordic countries. The programme also offers a study block on the gender system in the Baltic countries and Russia. The Christina Institute participates to both ERASMUS and NORDPLUS student exchange programmes and is a partner in the EU/Phare-project for the Estonian Women's Studies Resource Centre.

The Institute has a library of textbooks, reference books and bibliographies (Address: Unioninkatu 38). It also subscribes to relevant periodicals and journals. 

Christina Institute
PO Box 4
FIN- 00014 University of Helsinki

Visiting address: Vuorikatu 4 A 9

Fax +358-9-191 23315

Planning officer Marja Nykänen
Tel. +358-9-191 23395, e-mail: marja.nykanen@helsinki.fi 


Women's Law has been established as an academic discipline in the University of Helsinki in 1996, when a special chair was allocated to feminist legal studies. In addition, there are several both national and international research programmes and networks dealing with issues on law and gender. The themes cover women's human rights, social rights and the welfare state, family and parenthood, women's position in the labour market, and violence against women. A Nordic e-mail list kvinn-jur is an important information canal among the Scandinavian scholars, and the web site of the European Women and Law -project provides useful comparative information about women's legal status in Scandinavia and Europe.

Women's Law
Faculty of Law
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Professor Kevät Nousiainen, Kevat.Nousiainen@Helsinki.fi
Dr. Anu Pylkkänen, Anu.Pylkkanen@Helsinki.fi



Different scientific disciplines, e.g., psychology, sociology, philosophy etc. have organized study programmes in regard to women studies. It is possible to study the subject up to 15 study weeks (about 10 (?) credit points) by combining the units of women studies from the different disciplines. The women studies at the University of Joensuu are coordinated by Professor Airi Hautamäki, Ph.D., airi.hautamaki@joensuu.fi

Research on women's studies in spring 1999: research, projects and dissertations in preparation

  • Airi Hautamäki: Transmission of attachment, mentalizing and images of motherhood across three, progressively individualized, generations (TRAM). Research project. (Psychology)
  • Kaija Heikkinen: Women's organizations and networking in Russia. (Ethnology)
  • Liisa Häyrynen: Creative women in a creative profession - a study of female success in architectural work. (Psychology)
  • Katri Komulainen:Gender and nation time in the life stories of ex-students of Imatra Secondary School. (Psychology)
  • Marjut Forsell: Reflective function and themes of self in late modern situation. (Psychology)
  • Chaltu Deressa Gasson: Integration of adolescent girls into a family planning programme in Ethiopia. (Social policy)
  • Koivuluhta Merja: Occupational careers of adults having vocational education (Psychology) 
  • Merja Korhonen,: The change of fatherhood (and motherhood) on the basis of the life course interviews (Psychology)
  • Tarja Kupiainen: Images of women and men in Kalevala Metre folk epics (Folklore studies)
  • Arja Kurvinen: A study of women threatend by job loss from the bank and how their identity changed (Sociology)
  • Mari Käyhkö: To become a cleaner - a gendered view to the everyday life of vocational school (Sociology)
  • Maarit Marjeta: The living conditions of women in Lappland (Sociology)
  • Airi Markkanen: The life course of the Finnish romany women (Folklore studies) 
  • (Raija) Kristiina Mäkinen: Use of alcohol among young maidens (Sociology)
  • Kirsti Määttänen: The significance of early interaction to the development of gender-related senses of self (Psychology)
  • Ritva Ruponen: Crises of the occupational development in the life course of women and men (Psychology)
  • Maarit Sireni: Gender relations in Finnish family farming (Geography)
  • Jarna Soilevuo-Gronnerod: Independency, personal relationships and gender in youth (Psychology)
  • Silva Tedre: Finnish gender contracts in the old-age care - the case of public home help services (Social policy)
  • Sari Tuuva: Computing ethnographies of women and men in information society. (Folklore studies)
  • Marja-Terttu Uimonen: Women as business-managers (Psychology)
  • Johanna Uotinen: Women's experiences of computers and computer-using in North-Karelia. (Folklore studies). 
  • Sinikka Vakimo: Discursive texts of female aging in Finnish culture. (Folklore studies)
  • Liisa Westman: Women Managers in the Municipalities of Finland.
Professor Hautamäki
Equality and Women Studies, Institution of Psychology
University of Joensuu
P.O. Box 111

Fax: 013-2514533
Phone: 013-2514271


Women's studies have been included in the Jyväskylä University's teaching programme since the autumn of 1989. Subject studies (35 study credits) are open to all the students of the university. Women's studies are being studied eagerly at the university of Jyväskylä. Over hundred students include basic course of women's studies in their study programme every year. The Ministry of Education financed professorship of women's studies is located at the department of social sciences and philosophy until the end of the year 2001.

Gender research is being conducted on several departments and faculties at the University of Jyväskylä. However, at the moment the largest concentration of researchers work in a project titled 'Female Subjectivity in Gendered Orders'. 

Researchers and research topics in the project are:

  • Hannele Harjunen: A fat subject
  • Marita Husso: The time and place of intimate violence
  • Eeva Jokinen: Maternal subjectivity, desire to mother and mother's knowledge in diaries 
  • Marja Kaskisaari: The orders and desires of the lesbian body 
  • Ulla Kosonen: Unemployed, single, middle-aged women
  • Marjo-Riitta Reinikainen: Are disabled women really women?
  • Antu Sorainen: Unnatural acts. Criminal law and court practices in the production of knowledge on women's same sex sexuality in Finland in the 1950's (University of Helsinki)
  • Soile Veijola: Wanting/desiring female subjects in the sport discourse (University of Helsinki)
  • Tuija Virkki: Anger in the lives of the unemployed
University of Jyväskylä
Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy
PO Box 35
FIN-40351 Jyväskylä

Professor Eeva Jokinen, ejokinen@dodo.jyu.fi, +358-14-603102
Assistent (until 30 July 1999) Tiina Kairistola, tmkairis@cc.jyu.fi, +358-14-603126
Hannele Harjunen, shharjun@dodo.jyu.fi, +358-14-601692
Marita Husso, mhusso@cc.jyu.fi, +358-14-603103
Marja Kaskisaari, kaskisaa@dodo.jyu.fi, +358-14-603119
Ulla Kosonen, ukosonen@dodo.jyu.fi, +358-14-603121
Marjo-Riitta Reinikainen, mkreinik@cc.jyu.fi, +358-14-603132
Tuija Virkki, tumany@dodo.jyu.fi, +358-14-602970




Women's Studies was started at the University of Lapland in 1989. The program offers 15 - 35 credits of courses. The Women's Studies module is a multidisciplinary block of courses, spanning all of the academic interests at the University's faculties: education, law, art and social sciences. The module comprises readings in Women's Studies and seminars and lectures by experts in various fields.Women's Studies has also been involved in seminars in the University's International Summer Schools.

Postgraduate study centers around the Women's Studies group, a multidisciplinary forum for study and discussion. Students also have an opportunity to participate in The Femina Borealis - Women and Development in the North - network.

Päivi Naskali e-mail: paivi.naskali@urova.fi or
Mervi Kutuniva e-mail: mervi.kutuniva@urova.fi

University of Lapland
Faculty of Education
Box 122
FIN-96101 Rovaniemi


Women Studies is located at the faculty of educational sciences and it consists of a set of introductory studies (6cr), basic studies (15 cr) and intermediate studies (35 cr). Additionally, a special English programme of 10 credits with the title "Northern Women Studies" is included in the programme. Main disciplines represented in women studies: cultural studies, literature, cultural anthropology, languages, pedagogy, history, sociology, medicine and health care, technology.

Networks: Femina Borealis - women and development in the North and ATHENA

Projects and their contact persons

  • Northern women writers - Frozen Laurels, Sinikka Tuohimaa, sinikka.tuohimaa@oulu.fi, phone: 358 - 08 - 5533332
  • A network for crisis centres in the Barents region, Aino Saarinen, aino.saarinen@oulu.fi, 358 - 08 - 5566092
  • A network for gender sensitive and non-violent schools and school pedagogy, Vappu Sunnari, vsunnari@ktk.oulu.fi, 358 - 08 - 5533720
  • Gay and lesbian educational equity (GLEE) EU Socrates project, Maria-Liisa Järvelä, mjarvela@ktk.oulu.fi, 358 - 08 - 5533718 and Tim Bedford, e-mail: tbe@lyseo.edu.ouka.fi 
  • Information technology, transnational democracy and gender (ITTDG) - a Nordic Network for research in 1999 - 2001, Helena Karasti, helena.karasti@oulu.fi, 358 - 08 - 5531913
  • Japanese woman, Seija Jalagin, seija.jalagin@oulu.fi, 358 - 08 - 5533327
Contact persons

Vappu Sunnari, vsunnari@ktk.oulu.fi, phone: 358 - 08 - 5533720
Taina Pitkänen-Koli, Taina.Pitkanen-Koli@oulu.fi , 358 - 08 - 5533405

Faculty of Education/Women Research
PO Box 222
FIN-90571 Oulu

Tel. +358 8 5533720
Fax. +358 8 5533744


Women´s Studies has been taught from the early 1980s' in the University of Tampere. The Centre for Women´s Studies was founded in 1990 in order to develop the subject theoretically and methodologically through research and training of researchers and postgraduate students, as well as teaching undergraduate students. Just recently, in August 1998, The Centre of Women´s Studies changed into The Department of Women's Studies.

Department of Women´s Studies has covered such topics as gendered structures of working life, the gender system of the Finnish welfare state, women in Finnish national and local history and politics etc. Social scientific orientation has been strong in the past sixteen years but more and more subject areas are included into the main corpus of Women´s Studies, for instance feminist cultural studies, issues on feminist postcolonial theory and development studies, and studies dealing with questions of body and sexuality. Women´s Studies' graduate and postgraduate students come from all five faculties of the University. 

  • Anneli Anttonen , Ph.D., Acting Senior Lecturer, + 358 - 3 - 215 7279, spanan@uta.fi
  • Tuula Gordon, Professor, + 358 - 3 - 215 7182, lotugo@uta.fi
  • Katri Komulainen, Researcher
  • Kirsti Lempiäinen, Researcher, . + 358 - 3 - 215 8047, ytkile@uta.fi
  • Marianne Liljeström, Docent, Acting Senior Lecturer (on leave of absence), . + 358 - 3 - 215 6067, E-mail: lomalil@uta.fi
  • Minna Nikunen, Researcher, . + 358 - 3 - 215 7992, mn24851@uta.fi
  • Suvi Ronkainen, L.Soc.Sc., Acting Lecturer, . + 358 - 3 - 215 7190, sssuro@uta.fi
  • Jaana Vuori, Researcher, Graduate School Gender System, . + 358 - 3 - 215 7709, ssjavu@uta.fi
University of Tampere
The Department of Women's Studies
P.O.Box 607
FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland

Tel.+ 358 - 3 - 215 7203
Fax + 358 - 3 - 215 6562

E-mail: nty@uta.fi


was founded in 1995. Courses in Women´s Studies have been taught since the mid 80`s. The programme in Women´s Studies aims at an interdisciplinary approach in both teaching and research. The purpose is to give students a broad knowledge of feminist methodology and theory. 

Our programme focuses on two wide fields: the feminist critique of knowledge - can she know? what is she or how is she? - and on the other hand, empirical problematics what positions have women had during the history, for example. Women's Studies at the University of Turku belongs to the Department of Arts. This means a humanistic emphasis in teaching and studying. Possible subjects to concentrate on are cultural representations of women within literature, art history, film, massmedia etc. 

Students in women's studies have the possibility to take a basic studies programme (15-20 credit points) and bachelor's level studies (20 credit points). We also offer education for those who work on their Master's thesis or postgraduate research in other disciplines. That is, we serve all faculties in the whole university! 

Women's studies and feminist studies are international and cross-cultural. Every academic year We have courses in English such as Ethnicities & multiculturalism in the nordic context or Nordic Women's History. We supply an exchange agreement for students with Utrecht, Bologna and Thessaloniki. In addition we have with Åbo Akademi (another university in Turku) a NordPlus agreement which gives an opportunity to study in the universities of Bergen, Göteborg and Århus.

Ongoing Projects

Models Of Self: Russian Women's Autobiographical Texts, 1800-2000

This multidisciplinary research project aims at drawing the image of the female subject emerging from Russian women's autobiographies. The texts studied have been written at different periods of time, socio-economic contexts, and prevailing gender-related attitudes. The project brings to the fore the history of women, which researh on Russian and Soviet history and culture has so far neglected. It brings to the footlights the lives, values, and sultures of the individuals, who until now, have been muted and marginalized as the "other".
The socio-psychological dimension in the project looks into the relationship between the individual and the collective or the female self and the community. In the texts of politically and socially active women, we investigate the differences between the self image and the exploitation of this image in political activities. 

    Project's researchers, disciplines and contact information
  • Marianne Liljeström, Turku University (director): Women's Studies , marianne.liljestrom@utu.fi
  • Arja Rosenholm, Tampere University: Slavic Philology and Russian Literature, arja.rosenholm@uta.fi
  • Anna Rotkirch, Helsinki University: Social Policy, anna.rotkirch@helsinki.fi
  • Marja Rytkönen, Tampere University: Slavic Philology and Russian Literature, tel: +358-2-215 6753
  • Irina Savkina, Tampere University: Slavic Philology and Russian Literature, irina.savkina@uta.fi
  • Anna Temkina, Evropeiski Universitet, St. Petersburg, Russia: Sociology, anna@gallup.spb.su
The Feminization of Finnish Literature in the 19th Century

The aim of this project is to study the forms and manifestations so called feminization of culture took in the 19th century and in the turn of the century in Finnish prose fiction. The project is informed by the new interest in theoretical problems concerning literary history and the impact of many new interdisciplinary approaches (e.g. Women's Studies and Cultural Studies). Both literature written by women and fiction which uses women as symbols or metaphors is considered in dialogue with Finnish, Scandinavian and European literary and cultural context. Project is financed by Finnish Academy.

    Project's researchers, themes and contact information
  • Päivi Lappalainen (director): Feminization of Finnish Literature in 1880's and 1890's and Mother-Daughter Relationship in Finnish Women's Literature, pailappa@utu.fi
  • Minna Aalto: Novels of Female Development as Seen by Finnish Female Writers in the Turn of the 20th Century, minna.aalto@megabaud.fi
  • Heidi Grönstrand : Melodrama and the Earliest Novels Written by Women in Finland (1840-1848), heigro@utu.fi
  • Kati Launis: "Jag vill vara fri, fri liksom lejonet i skogen." The Changing Woman in Finnish Women's Literature from the 1840's to the 1860's, kati.launis@utu.fi
  • Viola Parente-Capkova, Helsinki University: The Tensions between Decadent Aesthetics and New Woman Themes in the Prose Work of L.Onerva (1908-1915)
Other researchers in Turku university in the field of women's studies: theme problems/disciplines and the e-mail addresses/telephone numbers
  •  Sari Ahlqvist, Psychology: Interaction Between Child and Depressed Mother, sari.ahlqvist@utu.fi
  • Maarit Ervasti, Literary Studies: Questions of Identity and Writing Processes in Prose Fiction (1975-1992) of Pirkko Saisio, +358-2-235 8993
  • Tarja Hyppönen, Art History: From Paradise to Brothel. Bathing as a theme in the French Painting at the Turn of the Century tahyppo@utu.fi
  • Siru Kainulainen, Literary Studies: What has not been said. The Study of Eila Kivikkaho's, Sirkka Selja's and Anja Vammelvuo's Poetry in the 1940's and the Problem of High Modernism, sirkai@utu.fi
  • Marja Kivijärvi, Psychology: Temperament and Early Interaction, marja.kivijarvi@utu.fi
  • Anu Koivunen, Cinema and TV Studies: All That Niskavuori Allows - The Reception of Niskavuori-films, akoivu@utu.fi
  • Soile Kuitunen, Social Sciencies: Political Recruiting in Municipal Election and the Choosing of Electioneers in Finland soikui@utu.fi
  • Marjut Kähkönen, Literary Studies: A Study on Helvi Hämäläinen's Mythical Poetry, marjut.kahkonen@utu.fi
  • Maarit Leskelä, Cultural History: The Network of Finnish Women Writers in the turn of the 20th Century. maales@utu.fi
  • Kaarina Nurmi, Social Policy: Gender Divisions in Education and in the Labour market in OECD Countries, kaarina.nurmi@utu.fi
  • Susanna Paasonen, Cinema and TV Studies: There Is No Place Like Home(page) - Internet Homepages as Representations of the Self, suspaa@utu.fi
  •  Mari Pajala, Cinema and TV Studies: Peoples are singing - the Eurovision Contests in the Finnish History of Television
  • Tutta Palin, Art History: The Theory of Detail and Gendered Reading of Finnish Portrayals in the 1880's and 1890's. tupalin@utu.fi
  • Anne Puuronen, Religion Studies: Phenomenological View on Anorexia. annepu@utu.fi
  • Mirja Sarkkinen, Psychology: Mother's Depression as an Experiential Phenomena. Hermeneutic-phenomenological Study. mirja.sarkkinen@utu.fi
  • Kirsi Tuohela, Cultural History: Living in a Salon, like a Flâneur or at Home. Women's Struggle for Room in the Public Life in the End of 19th Century
The Centre for Women's Studies 
20014 Turku University 
Address for visitors: Hämeenkatu 2 A 2, Turku

Tel. +358-02-333 5298
Fax 333 5080

E-Mail: Ntkeskus@Utu.Fi

Professor Marianne Liljeström, Tel +358-02-333 6643, Marlil@Utu.Fi


The Institute of Women's Studies was founded in 1986 as the first centre of Women's Studies in Finland. The Institute is an interdisciplinary unit of research, teaching, and information services. Research takes place in larger projects, at courses, seminars, tutorials and in co-operation with feminist researchers at different departments at the university. A series of publications presents current research. Students can take Women’s Studies as a minor in their degree both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. A separate module is thought in English and offered international students.

The library of the Institute is the most extensive one of its kind in the country and it offers various services to students and researchers, as well as other people - in Åbo or elsewhere - who may be interested in the field. The Institute has a broad co-operation with Women’s Studies institutes and departments nationally and on a Nordic and European level, with guest-lecturers from abroad each year visiting the institute.

The institute of Women’s Studies aims at being a meeting point for researchers, students, women activists and other people inside and outside the university.

  • Harriet Silius, Professor, Director of the institute, phone +358-2-2154328, e-mail harriet.silius@abo.fi. Her research interests are women's life stories, women in the legal profession and feminist perspectives on welfare states.
  • Kristin Mattsson,, Researcher, +358-2-2154589, kristin.mattsson@abo.fi: Life stories, ethnicity, gender, narrative research, Swedish-speaking finns, identity.
  • Ann-Catrin Östman, Researcher, +358-2-2154645, ann-catrin.ostman@abo.fi Changing meaning of femininity and masculinity in different historical contexts. 
  • Katriina Honkanen, Researcher, +358-2-2154645, katriina.honkanen@abo.fi : feminist politics, historicism, discourses on time, change and continuity in feminism.
  • Monica Nylund, Co-ordinator, +358-2-2154869, monica.nylund@abo.fi.
  • Ann-Louise Söderlund, Librarian, +358-2-2154926, ann-louise.soderlund@abo.fi
  • Eve Hed-Kattelus, Secretary, +358-2-2154926, eve.hed@abo.fi
Institute of Women's Studies 
Åbo Akademi University 
FIN-20500 ÅBO Finland 
Address for visitors: Agricolagatan 6

Phone +358-2-2154 869 
Fax. +358-2-2154 668 
E-mail: kvinnoforsk@abo.fi 



The aim of the Project Gender and Academia is to explore the academia in Finland from an interdisciplinary gendered perspective. A widespread myth about academia is its gender neutral character: success is claimed to be solely based on merit. The growing research on gender and academia has made it clear that gender is visibly and invisibly a relevant factor structuring academic life, its culture and social interaction as well as the identity formation of academics and researchers. 

In Finland, there exists currently very little research based knowledge on gender in academia. Most of the Finnish research on this area stems from the 1980s, and the universities and academia in general have experienced drastic changes since then. The project intends to produce qualitative knowledge. Central common questions are how Finnish academia, its structures, culture, and researchers' professional identities are gendered and how gender is produced and reproduced in academia.

The project consists of two individual, yet closely interrelated studies in which the question on gender in academia is approached from different angles and at different levels of analysis, which complement each other. The disciplines included are social psychology (Wager) and sociology (Husu); the common interest and background in Women's Studies unites the studies as well as use of mainly qualitative methods. 

Liisa Husu's Ph.D. study explores academic women's experiences of hidden discrimination through thematic interviews and written accounts, and Maaret Wager's postdoctoral study concentrates on emotions, gender, and professional identity of academic women and men. The overall project aims to produce new knowledge on the conditions of women and gender relations in academia. The results can be used in science policy and equality policy planning, and they may also increase understanding of the obstacles women encounter in academia and thus have an empowering function for academic women as well. Our intention is also to inspire further research in this area in both a national context and in an international comparative perspective. Project Leader is Ph.D. Maaret Wager, Department of Social Psychology.

The project participates in international activities of the field and the researchers act as experts in several international organizations such as EU, UNESCO, Nordic Council of Ministers, as well as in international journals. 

Maaret Wager and/or Liisa Husu
Dept. of Social Psychology
P.O.Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Email: liisa.husu@helsinki.fi



Our research concerns health services dealing with normal life processes, health promotion, and prevention of diseases (primary and secondary), as well as self-care. Special emphasis is placed on the evaluation of health technology: the determinants, characteristics, and consequences of its use. Important focal issues are the unintended consequences of technology and the interface of professional and nonprofessional responsibility. Our research aims to be critical, socially conscious, gender sensitive, and in many projects, outcome oriented.

Current and recent research concerns reproduction (regulation of pregnancy and birth, antenatal and birth services, menopause, gynecological services), perinatal health, self-care, genetic screening, and cosmetic surgery. Themes such as ethics, autonomy, long-term outcomes, financial and professional interests, and medicalization are evident in many of the projects. Our studies are problem oriented and multidisciplinary, using various methods and data sources. Topics are chosen on the basis how timely they are and the likelihood of scientific contribution. In this research group, research education is central and most research is carried out as postgraduate student work. International contacts occur as joint projects, networking and expert work.

Researcher Maili Malin 
STAKES, National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health
Health Services Research Unit
P.O.Box 220
FIN-00531 Helsinki

E-mail: maili.malin@stakes.fi

"THIRD WAVE" OF WOMEN´S MOVEMENTS in the European North: the Case of A Netwrork for Crisis Centres in the Russian Barents Region (and in the Barents region as a whole), 1999-2001

TWWM concerns an empirical investigation and normative and theoretical appraisals of the transition towards multilevel political orders from the perspective of gender, democracy and citizenship within the Barents Euro-Arctic Region and its apparatus for decisionmaking and governance. A women-friendly demand on «double democratization» is the methodological prism for problematizing the relationship of political and social development and the division of the public and private spheres and for analyzing the dynamics of citizenship as agency and as a status, citizen

rights. The central issue is the interplay between the social dimension of transregional development and women´s transregional mobilization at the grassroots level - the «Third Wave» of women´s movements.

Ongoing transformations are being approached through a case study. NCRB - A Network for Crisis Centres in the Russian Barents Region (and in the Barents Region as a whole), 1999-2001. The joint Nordic-NW Russian development and research project has been initiated in the context of a Nordic and Russian network, Femina Borealis, involving Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Russian women researchers and activists. The project leaders are Aino Saarinen (Oulu University) and Natalya Gutsol (Kola Science Centre). NCRB aims at building up a network for the crisis centres in northernmost Europe, in the Russian Barents especially, and at strenghtening their institutional capacities, both locally and transregionally. NCRB will also take use information technology for producing services and for communication between the centres and between centres and their clients.

The scientific context of the project is composed of:

  • a Nordic and International network for research, WMI - Women´s Movement and Internationalisation: the «Third Wave», 1998-2000 (funding: NorFA, network leader Aino Saarinen, with Beatrice Halsaa (Oslo) and Hilda Rømer Christensen (Copenhagen)
  • a Nordic and International network for research, ITDG - Information Technology, Transnational Democracy and Gender, 1999-2001 (funding: NorFA, network leader Christina Mörtberg (Luleå), with Gro Hanne Aas (Oslo) and Aino Saarinen
Dr. Aino Saarinen
Department of Behavioral Sciences
University of Oulu
P.O.Box 222
FIN-90 571 Oulu
Kurjenpolvi 2 D 6
FIN-90 580 Oulu

Tel: + 358 - 8 - 5566 092; Fax: + 358 - 8 - 5472 253
E-mail: aino.saarinen@oulu.fi


The Work Research Unit is located at Statistics Finland's Social Statistics unit. It has been operating as an independent unit from the beginning of 1999. The unit was created around many aspects of work life research where equality has always been one of the key issues. The Work Research Unit is led by Anna-Maija Lehto, PhD, who has steered work life research towards recognition of gender differences and also developed statistical methods for collecting and analysing work life research data. Women's issues play an essential role in some of the projects made in this unit and these studies are also published. The unit works in close cooperation with Finnish universities and government research centres and we also have a large number of contacts abroad.

At the moment, several projects involving women's issues are in progress:

  • Women's labour market position in the 1990s. Lotta Savola
  • Temporary and fixed-term contracts from the point of view of gender. Hanna Sutela
  • Age and working conditions. Noora Järnefelt
Work Research Unit / Statistics Finland
Director: Anna-Maija Lehto
tel. +358-9-1734 3223, e-mail: anna-maija.lehto@stat.fi


Work Research Centre, University of Tampere, Finland

Ongoing projects:

  • Transformations in White-Collar Work in 1986-1996 Researchers: Päivi Korvajärvi, Merja Kinnunen, Riitta Järvinen, Susan Eriksson
  • Gender, Citizenship and Information Society Researchers: Marja Vehviläinen, Johanna Uotinen, Sari Tuuva
  • Combining Work and Family Life Researchers: Riikka Kivimäki, Aija Karttunen
  • Gender Segregation of the Labour Market in Finland 1970-1990 Researcher: Sirpa Kolehmainen-Lindén
  • Women's Industrial Work in Rigid and Flexible Organisations Researcher: Leena Piispa
  • Use of Family Leaves Researcher: Tapio Rissanen
Planned project:
  • Gendering Organisational Cultures and New Information Technology at Enterprises in Manufacturing and Service Sectors. Researchers: Päivi Korvajärvi, Riitta Lavikka, Katja Uosukainen
E-mail addresses: 
  • Aija Karttunen, ttaika@uta.fi 
  • Riikka Kivimäki, ytriki@uta.fi 
  • Sirpa Kolehmainen-Lindén, ttsiko@uta.fi 
  • Päivi Korvajärvi, ttpako@uta.fi 
  • Riitta Lavikka, ttrila@uta.fi 
  • Leena Piispa, ttlepi@uta.fi 
  • Tapio Rissanen, sstari@uta.fi 
  • Katja Uosukainen, atkape@uta.fi 
  • Marja Vehviläinen, marja.vehviläinen@csc@fi


The project maps out the literature written by women authors in Northern Finland. It's second aim is to analyse the works of individual authors in the light of feminist and postcolonial theory and to record the history of Northern Finnish Woman Writers. The first publication Frozen Laurels. Articles about Northern Finnish Woman Writers has been published 1999. Responsible scientist: Sinikka Tuohimaa, professor of Literature Description:

Collaboration: This project is a part of Femina Borealis, research network, which has ongoing university research in Finland, Norway, Russia, Saamiland and Sweden. 

Prof. Sinikka Tuohimaa
Dept. of Art Studies and Anthrpology. 
Box 111 
FIN-90571 Oulu

Email: Sinikka. Tuohimaa @oulu. fi 


The sex industry is a rapidly expanding international operation which is based on and perpetuated by prevailing unequal socially and culturally defined gender and power relations. The markets of the commercial sex trade have a tendency to actively create new consumption habits. The sex trade uses advertising and marketing in order to normalize the consumption of its offered products and services as an unquestioned part of ordinary life. Prostitution is one part of this consumption culture of eroticized trade in human beings. 

The sex industry exists by means of trading in the bodies and sexualities of human beings. The sex trade is not only an economic venture which just happens to have negative implications for health: It is an activity that raises profound concerns about human rights and ethics. The Government of Finland launched its program for equality between women and men, "From Beijing to Helsinki", in 1997. This national program fulfils the obligations set in the Beijing Platform for Action. 

The questions related to prostitution have notably gained prominence on the international agenda during the last decade. Due to the geopolitical location of Finland as a border country of the European Union, prostitution has aroused great concern in the other Scandinavian countries and in the E.U. Finland is a country of origin of sex tourists who increasingly head for Baltic and Russian destinations. Finland is also a transit country and a country of destination of mobile prostitution. A crucial point is that the sex trade is increasing not in only terms of foreign prostitution and sex tourism, but that also domestic prostitution is growing in Finland.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health started in 1998 a five-year long national Program for the Prevention of Prostitution and Violence against Women (1998 - 2002). The program is chaired by the Minister of Social Affairs and Health. 

The goals and tasks 

The project gathers and disseminates information and follows up on prostitution and different forms of commercialized sex at the international and national levels. The sex trade is a polymorphic continuously evolving phenomenon. The themes related to it are relatively difficult and sensitive to approach. At the national level, there is a lack of collected and reliably analyzed information on the phenomenon. For these reasons, the key task of the project is to promote research both in applied and theoretical areas. 

In most considerations of the sex trade, the focus has been limited to women selling sex. In order to broaden the understanding of prostitution and to eliminate the violations of human rights connected to the sex trade, the social and cultural patterns and structures behind it are being subjected to investigation in the project. The project draws attention to other initial partners in the sex trade who maintain it and benefit financially from it. Clients, procurers, and indirect profiteers are in focus under the project. 

A further task of the project is to produce different kinds of operative models in order to create a basis for social decision-making and to promote cooperation with authorities and NGOs in striving to prevent prostitution and to reduce the disadvantages connected to the phenomenon. Promotion of equal, positive, and nonviolating modes of sexuality is a main goal of the project.

Action plan for 1998 and 1999 

  • The project will coordinate the Nordic Network on Prostitution Issues in 1999. 
  • Establishment of the Nordic network of researchers of prostitution.
  • Development of cooperation between Finland, and the Baltic countries, and Russia about issues concerning prostitution and the sex trade in general:
  • Research plan on mobile prostitution coming into Finland from the East, and on sex tourism from Finland directed at Russia and the Baltic states.
  • Partnership in the Finnish-based STOP project financed partly by the E.U. The STOP project focuses on monitoring, analyzing, and combating trafficking in women and children. An essential aim of the project is to develop cooperation between authorities in Finland, Estonia, Russia, Sweden, and Germany. 
  • Research on the economical gains of the Finnish daily newspapers from the advertising of the sex trade.
  • Formation of a working-group concerning clients of prostitution.
Publications in 1998: Research publication on Finnish male prostitution (in Finnish) and a publication on the clients of prostitution (including writers from other Nordic countries ; in English).

Prevention of Prostitution 1998 - 2002
P.O. Box 220
FIN-00531 Helsinki

 Telefax +358 9 3967 2155 (Mental Health Group) 

  • Chairperson of the administrative group of the project: Senior Medical Officer Merja-Maaria Turunen, phone +358 9 3967 2334, merja-maaria.turunen@stakes.fi
  • Project Coordinator Marjut Jyrkinen, +358 9 3967 2175, marjut.jyrkinen@stakes.fi
  • Researcher Mari-Elina Laukkanen +358 9 3967 2174, mari-elina.laukkanen@stakes.fi
  • Project Researcher Reet Nurmi +358 9 3967 2181, reet.nurmi@stakes.fi (Information also in Russian and Estonian)

Gendered and Sexual Violence and the Criminal Trial 

The project has three objectives:
    1) To find and analyze those problems that are spesific to the criminal trials of a sexual or gendered crime. The position of the victim of a crime is central to this analysis. 

    2) To increase our knowledge of sexual and gendered crimes, theis prevalence, victims, experiences of and consequences to the victims. We are interested about the equality assumption of the Finnish society: how it has made women more equal in theis relationships but on the other side made recognition of victimazation more difficult. 

    3) To analyze those presumptions we commonly held about gendered roles of the accused and the victim of sexual and gendered crimes.

 The project consists of following studies 
  • Johanna Niemi-Kiesiläinen (Head of project), Domestic Violence in Criminal Trial 
  • Minna Ruuskanen (criminal law), Self-defence as a defence in manslaughter when a woman has killed her spouse or partner. 
  • Päivi Honkatukia (sociology), Young women's experience and attitudes of victimation. 
  • Sari Nare (sociology), Experience of rape based on reports to the rape crisis center in Helsinki. 



Association for Women's Studies in Finland was founded in 1988 to promote teaching women's studies at the Finnish universities and to be a link between the institutes and researchers.

The association's board consist of two members from each of the women's studies units plus a student member. The office moves every two years to an other university.The association has more than 600 hundred members. It publishes the only Finnish women's studies journal, Naistutkimus - Kvinnoforsking (in Finnish and Swedish mainly). The main function organized is the annual Naistutkimuspäivät - Women's Studies Seminar.

The Association is a member in Nordic Women Studies Association, WISE and follows also the work of  EWL and AOIFE.

Address in 1999

Association for Women's Studies in Finland
C/o Christina Institute 
PO BOX 59 
FIN -  00014 University of Helsinki

Chairperson Doctor Elina Vuola, E-mail elina.vuola@helsinki.fi 
Vicechairperson Professor Kevät Nousiainen, E-mail kevat.nousiainen@helsinki.fi

The office moves to Oulu University Women's Studies for years 2000-2001.