Zonta Club of Helsinki IV hosts public webinars on prevention of violence against women and girls

The 2020-2021 theme for the Zonta Club of Helsinki IV's, Finland, monthly meetings was "Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls." In honor of the theme, the club hosted three webinars open to other Zontians in District 20 and the public.

In the first virtual session, the club delved into the topic of trafficking of women and girls in Finland and efforts to prevent it with the Zonta Club of Helsinki III and Pro-tukipiste. Pro-tukipiste is a Finnish organization that provides support to survivors of trafficking. Representing the Finnish government, Justice Minister Anna Maja Henrikkson stated that even one single instance of human trafficking is too many to the 160 virtual attendees.

The second virtual session focused on the theme: "Why support women inmates?" featuring guest speaker Kaisa Tammi-Mooilanen, the principal warden at Vanaja Prison. In Finland, an average of 200-250 women are incarcerated annually.

Wondering why these women are imprisoned, the club found out that many are victims of child abuse and suffered physical or mental abuse at the hands of intimate partners. Kaisa also explained how the women prisoners manage after their sentence is served. To support the soon-to-be-released women who have gone through rehabilitation, attendees donated to the cause.

The third session took place on the International Day of the Girl and discussed preventing violence against women and girls. Attendees learned that one of the goals of the UN Women Finland's HeForShe equality campaign was a 5% reduction in gender-based violence. Hannu Maijanen, Head of the Social Affairs of the Finnish Defence Forces, said that all Finnish conscripts had taken part in a family federation training on emotion and aggression control to gain a deeper understanding of equality.