FEMINIST ASSOCIATION UNIONI
Bulevardi 11 A 1
Tel: +358 (0) 9 643 158
Mobile: +358 40 773 9632
e-mail: paasihteeri (at) naisunioni.fi
History And Values
The Feminist Association Unioni (formerly Unioni, The League of Finnish Feminists, in Finnish, Naisasialiitto Unioni) is a non-governmental women´s organisation founded in 1892. Its founders, Lucina Hagman, Maikki Friberg and Venny Soldan-Brofelt, were all prominent figures in Finnish cultural life.
Originally Unioni focused primarily on fighting for women's right to vote (achieved in 1906), equality of pay, improvement of education, and prohibition of prostitution.
In later years, Unioni's priority issues have included promoting women's position in society as well as increasing the number of women in political decision-making. Unioni wants to raise feminist consciousness in women and to influence the way women are presented in the press, on the radio, and on television. In order to promote political, economic and social equality of the genders and to achieve its goals of a human society based on equality and tolerance, Unioni makes public statements, publishes expert opinions on women's issues and comments on pending legislations.
Unioni, which has over 2 000 members, is affiliated to NYTKIS (The Coalition of Finnish Women's Associations). Through that, Unioni is a member of European Women's Lobby. Since 1904 Unioni has been an affiliate organisation of The International Alliance of Women.
One of the most essential and important activities of Unioni is offering its premises to various groups for their meetings. Members are encouraged to form new groups or to join existing ones. Groups active in Unioni include Naiset rauhan puolesta (Women for Peace), Naisten kehitysapuryhmä (Women's Development Aid), Feministiäidit (Feminist Mothers), Bi-naiset (Bi-Women), Elovenlat, (older women's group), and several groups for cultural activities.
Unioni arranges public seminars and discussions on current topics. Unioni also publishes a feminist print magazine Tulva four times a year.
Unioni offers concrete help to women through various services. Tukinainen, a crisis centre for women who have been sexually abused, was established by Unioni in 1993. Financed by RAY (Finland's Slot Machine Association), it is the first of its kind in Finland. In the beginning of 2004 Tukinainen became independent. Once a week on Wednesday evenings 5 - 7 pm Unioni offers legal guidance to women free of charge. Most of the legal advisors can offer guidance also in English.
Open University for Women, Unioni's Course Centre, offers rest and recreation, as well as information and practice in various skills ranging from car maintenance to feminist radical therapy. Lectures are held in Maikki Friberg Home, Unioni's office in downtown Helsinki, workshops in various venues.