Sanna Marin: A Modern Fairy Tale
If the movie honchos of the world, ever got together to make a movie about Sanna Marin, the world’s youngest prime minister at 34, of Finland, they’d have a veritable blockbuster on their hands.
Her story ticks all the boxes that go into the making of a politically correct, relevant and most importantly entertaining cinema. It is a classic underdog story. A girl born in picturesque Helsinki, raised in a ‘rainbow family, growing up with constrained finances, taking a job at a bakery at the tender age of 15 to support her education and upkeep, being the first in her family to walk the steps out of a university, joining politics, becoming a member of the Parliament of Finland in 2015, being appointed as the Minister of Transport and Communication in June 2019, giving birth to a baby and becoming the Prime Minister of your country at age 34 is something even the most convoluted script writers would have trouble conjuring. And to imagine, it has all happened to Ms. Marin. Fact as they say is stranger than fiction.
The world might think that Sanna Marin just sprung up on the scene but anyone familiar with Finnish politics will know of this strong, independent and outspoken woman who’s never shied away from issues. She has always been candid, whether it was about the difficulties of growing up in a family that wasn’t considered ‘normal’ or posting on social media about issues like pregnancy, working mothers or breast feeding.
Ms. Marin assumed office on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 thus entering the record books as the youngest Prime Minister of not only Finland but also the world. She incidentally is the third female Prime Minister of Finland, a record of sorts; for politics is still a male dominated bastion throughout the globe. A Social Democrat, Marin leads a coalition of five parties, all of them headed by women with three under the age of 35; Li Andersson (32), Katri Kulmuni (32), Maria Ohisalo (34) and Anna Ma-Ja Henrikkson (55). But then the Finnish have a history of gender equality unparalleled across the globe. Finland is the first country where both men and women were granted full political rights at the same time.
The news of Marin’s appointment was welcomed the world over, not only because of her gender but for the fact that the youth were finally taking control of their future and being given the limelight they so deserve, in a profession where age is venerated. The opposition leader Alexander Stubb summed it up perfectly when he tweeted a picture of the five women along with the caption, “My party is not in government, but I rejoice that the leaders of the five parties in government are female. Shows that #Finland is a modern and progressive country. The majority of my government was also female. One day gender will not matter in government. Meanwhile pioneers,”
Amen to that. To a modern and progressive world, undivided by gender.
Featured image: Finland.fi