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Finland gets world youngest prime minister. Who is Sanna Marin?

Sanna Marin, a Finnish politician, is set to become the world's youngest sitting prime minister.

Finland's Prime Minister, Sanna Marin.

Finland's Prime Minister, Sanna Marin. / Photo: valtioneuvosto.fi

The Woman Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro

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Leer en español: Finlandia tiene la primera ministra más joven del mundo. ¿Quién es Sanna Marin?

Marin, Finland's 34-year-old transportation minister, will be sworn today and become the country´s youngest prime minister. According to Reuters, Marin won among Social Democrat lawmakers and will replace Antti Rinne, who resigned last week after losing confidence among the Centre Party for the way he handled a postal workers' strike.

Marin told reporters that she has "a lot of work ahead to rebuild trust," according to Reuters.

"I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate," she told the Agence France-Presse news agency. 

Reuters reports that Marin made her way through the ranks after leading the city council of her industrial hometown Tampere, the second biggest city when she was 27. However, she started her political career at the age of 20. 

According to The Irish Times, ahead of the decision, she wrote a letter to the party members asking for their support and showing her political ethos and pointing out that ensuring the strength of the welfare state would be a priority for her, since she had benefited from it throughout her life, especially during difficult times. “I got to live a safe childhood, have an education and pursue my dreams,” she wrote. “Enabling it for everyone has driven me into politics.”

As read in The Guardian, Marin was the first of her family to finish high school and access college education. Marin has also blogged about her family background and has talked about the stigma that she faced when her mother entered a same-sex relationship with a woman.

According to CNN, Marin isn't the only world leader in her 30s, though: Ukranian premier Oleksiy Honcharuk is 35 and New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is 39.

Read also: What is the Human Rights Day?

The five major parties in Finland's parliament are now all led by women, four of whom are in their 30s: Li Andersson, 32, is the leader of the Left Alliance; Maria Ohisalo, 34, leads the Green League; the Centre Party is led by Katri Kulmuni, 32; and Anna-Maja Henriksson, 55, is leader of the Swedish People's Party of Finland.

BBC reports that the new government will have 12 female and seven male ministers, which represents a huge step even in Finland, the first country to elect a woman to parliament in 1907. 

Finland’s prime minister from 2014 to 2015, Alexander Stubb, congratulated the coalition, saying it “shows that Finland is a modern and progressive country”. Stubb tweeted: “My party is not in government, but I rejoice that the leaders of the five parties in government are female.”

“One day, gender will not matter in government. Meanwhile pioneers", he added. 

As read on YLE, this spring during general elections, Marin's campaign emphasized environmental sustainability and equality. She is Marin against Finland joining NATO and has said that she wants to phase-out fossil fuel vehicles.

Sanna Marin will be, according to The Washington Post, Finland’s third female government leader: Erna Solberg has been Norway’s head of government since 2013, Vigdis Finnbogadottir was the first woman to be democratically elected as head of state after beating three men in 1980 and Mette Frederiksen became Denmark’s prime minister in June. 

“The government’s road won’t be easy. That’s OK. I’ve proven my abilities”, Marin said. 

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