Photo: Kimmo Brandt, Helsinki City Material Bank

Helsinki Pride 2019 highlights equality work during the Pride week

Pride Helsinki 2019 takes hold of the city on 24–30 June. The City of Helsinki also works to advance equality and non-discrimination for the benefit of its citizens and employees. The Culture and Leisure Division offers a breath-taking variety of events and happenings during the festival week.

Helsinki Pride is the major cultural and human rights event for sexual and gender minorities in Finland. The Pride week is full of programmes, such as lectures and debates, workshops, art and culture besides many parties. The event is arranged by the human rights organisation Helsinki Pride community.
The climax of the week will be the parade and the park party on Saturday 29 June. The police estimate that about 100,000 people took part in the Pride Parade last year.

According to the city strategy, Helsinki is a strong, vibrant and multicultural promoter of liberal democracy and tolerance. A growing Helsinki fosters a culture permitting pluralism and enabling encounters between population groups.

‘Above all, Helsinki is a community. Each Helsinkian is an equal and equally valuable member of this community without regard to background, views, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation. A city where equality prevails is a place where people want to live, start companies, work, learn, play, go to their jobs and raise their families. Every day, Helsinki works to this end. Helsinki Pride on its part is doing important work to advance equality in Helsinki – and is also celebrating what has already been achieved’, says Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.

Active equality and non-discrimination work in Helsinki

The City of Helsinki has a long tradition in promoting gender equality, the City has, for instance, had a gender equality committee with elected officials since the mid-1980s. At the same time, it is recognised that fruitful equality and non-discrimination work requires constant development efforts and new initiatives. In the planning period 2019–2021, among these are the systematic development of gender impact assessment as well as better considering gender diversity in the municipal services and activities. A future objective is to develop the equality and non-discrimination work as a more concise unity for promoting human rights in the services.

The personnel gender equality plan was drawn up to guarantee that representatives of all genders are treated equally well in all workplaces of the City of Helsinki. In its capacity as employer, the City expects a business-like and appreciative attitude towards all co-workers and all customers. The measures of the personnel gender equality plan will be updated two years from now. The annual measures of the personnel non-discrimination plan will be updated during this year.

In order to promote consistent human rights work, the City of Helsinki set up a human rights network in early 2019. It has been joined by more than 180 members of the municipal staff – from traffic warden to city architect, from information officer to practical nurse, and it meets regularly to come up with ideas and to develop municipal services from the point of view of equality.

Earlier this year, Helsinki for the first time asked the city residents how well the city has managed to realise equality and non-discrimination. More than 500 replies were received. They contained valuable information that will contribute to the advancement of equality and the improvement of municipal services.

The Culture and Leisure Division offers a breath-taking variety of events during the theme week

During Helsinki Pride 2019 festival week, the City of Helsinki will organise events that take place at cultural centres, museums and youth centres.

At the museums, there will be e.g. guided tours on the queerness theme as well as singalongs. Visitors may also learn about the Helsinki of the 1920’s as perceived by sexual and gender minorities.

Further reading:

Helsinki Pride community

Programme offered by the Culture and Leisure Division during the theme week

Pride week programme for the young:

Young Pride 2019 programme compilation 2019 (pdf)

The City of Helsinki as employer

The Most Functional City in the World – The Helsinki City Strategy 2017–2021