New award for defenders of equality – Solita supporting Plan’s Girl Award

Published 15 Apr 2024

Reading time 3 min

From April 15 onwards, individuals, groups, or organisations operating in Finland can be nominated for the Plan’s Girl Award for significantly advancing girls’ rights and equality.

This year, the child rights organisation Plan International will be presenting the Plan’s Girl Award for the first time in Finland. Anyone can nominate individuals or entities that are making significant efforts to promote girls’ rights and equality. Nominations open on Monday, April 15, and close at the end of August. Plan will announce the winner around the International Day of the Girl in October.

“Equality is not yet achieved in any country in the world, and girls in all their diversity still face human rights violations. With the Plan’s Girl Award, we want to accelerate Finland’s progress towards equality and highlight that the challenges faced by girls are global – they just manifest differently in different societies,” says Ossi Heinänen, Secretary General of Plan International Finland.

“We are delighted to be involved in rewarding those who promote gender equality in Finland among children and young people. There is still work to be done for gender equality in the technology sector – currently, only about 30 percent of students in technology fields are women. In a digitising world, it is essential to have a diverse team involved in designing and creating services. We must learn to better encourage and inspire school-aged girls to become interested in technology and understand how it changes the world, ensuring that women perceive technology jobs as equal and their own,” comments Solita’s CEO, Ossi Lindroos.

The WomenTech network ranked Solita as the world’s third-best workplace for women in the technology sector in 2023. Solita was the only Finnish company in the category’s final.

The activities of the winner of the Plan’s Girl Award may include, for example, preventing gender-based violence, abuse, or female genital mutilation, promoting diversity in education and the workplace, amplifying the voices and participation of people who might not otherwise be heard in our society, such as transgender and disabled girls. The work can focus only on Finland or have an international impact as well. Respect for human rights, non-discrimination, and gender equality are Plan’s core values, which the nominees for the award must share.

Award to shine the spotlight on equality advocates

The winner will be selected by a jury chaired by Member of Parliament Fatim Diarra (Green Party) in 2024.

“Gender-based discrimination, violation of bodily integrity, and lack of opportunities are not just girls’ problems but societal problems. It takes courage to challenge discriminatory structures and make prejudices visible. That’s why I feel it’s important that with the Plan’s Girl Award, we can highlight and support courageous individuals who pave the way for equality every day,” says Diarra.

The jury includes Fadumo Ali, CEO of Hoiwa; Päivi Anttikoski, Media Director of SOK; entrepreneur Sointu Borg; Member of Parliament Pihla Keto-Huovinen (National Coalition Party); social media influencer Joonas Pesonen; Professor Helena Ranta; activist Katariina Räikkönen; journalist and author Rauli Virtanen; and Merja Ylä-Anttila, CEO of Yle.

The award includes a ceremony highlighting the winner and finalists’ work, a certificate of honour, and a trophy.

The Plan’s Girl Award has become an established part of the international organisation’s activities in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The award has been well-received in other Nordic countries with extensive visibility, and the audience has nominated dozens of defenders of girls’ rights every year. The sponsors of the Plan’s Girl Award in Finland are SOK and Solita.

Read more about the Plan’s Girl Award and name your heroes (in Finnish).

Read the press release in Finnish


For more information and interview requests

Fatim Diarra, member of the Finnish parliament, chairman of the jury, [email protected], +358 (0)9 432 3132

Baharak Bashmani, Plan, leader of the Plan’s Girl Award working group and corporate partnerships’ lead, [email protected], +358 50 3544432

Ossi Lindroos, CEO, Solita, [email protected], +358 40 750 7637

Minna Pinola, Director of Communications, Solita, [email protected], +358 40 5166 024

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