Sanna Marin: the progressive and tolerant leader who was forced to defend her privacy from public scrutiny

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin participates in the Helsinki Pride 2022 march (Saara Peltola/Lehtikuva via REUTERS) (LEHTIKUVA/)

Davos 2020. Sanna Marin had become about a month ago the world’s youngest premier: 34 years old, the former transport minister rose to the top political position in Finland, the third woman to hold that position. She was at the head of a coalition whose other four parties were also led by women, three of them in their thirties. At the economic forum, a moderator of the panel in which she participated asked her how her government worked. She bewildered, but polite, she answered simply: “Like any government. We don’t meet in a women’s locker room to have locker room talk.”

Despite being prime minister of one of the countries with the highest quality of life in the world, and the greatest equality, Marinenow 36, is still surprised every time someone is incredulous because of their age, their gender, or their coalition. repeat that she is “neither better nor worse than a middle-aged man”.

Sanna Marin was born in Helsinki on November 16, 1985 (Geert Vanden Wijngaert / Pool via REUTERS)
Sanna Marin was born in Helsinki on November 16, 1985 (Geert Vanden Wijngaert / Pool via REUTERS) (POOL /)

But her age and gender were the first things that drew global attention, in a position that for years had been largely dominated by men over 50.

sanna marin born in Helsinki on November 16, 1985. Her parents divorced when she was very young because of her father’s problems with alcohol. Later, her mother got involved with a woman, so Marine grew up in what he describes as “a rainbow family” without much money but with love in abundance. Today she is a firm ally of the LGBTI+ community.

He has been working for as long as he can remember, starting as a teenager to supplement the meager family income. His first experience was in a bakery, and later he distributed magazines. When she graduated from high school, in 2004worked as a cashier to pay for her studies on the University of Tamperewhere she graduated with a degree in Administrative Sciences in 2012. She is the first in her family to earn a college degree.

Together with former German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, on October 27, 2021 (REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke)
Together with former German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, on October 27, 2021 (REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke) (HANNIBAL HANSCHKE /)

Estonia’s interior minister mocked her job as a cashier before turning to politics, calling her a “saleswoman” and questioning her ability to run the country. Marine was surprised by thisinsult”: what young person had not worked in a low-paid position while studying? Why did this man consider it something demeaning?

Marine obtained a master’s degree in Administration Sciences in 2017. His thesis, entitled Finland, a country of mayors, analyzed the process of professionalization of political leadership in Finnish cities. Already in 2015, she had been elected to Parliament-she was her first candidacy-hers and as the second deputy leader of the Social Democratic Party.

On June 6, 2019, she became Minister of Transport and Communications. She did not last long in the position because on December 8 of that same year, after Antti Rinne resigned from his position as prime minister, was designated as a candidate to replace him.

sanna marin
Sanna Marin breastfeeding her daughter Emma

As evidenced by the comment Davos, Marine he has confronted sexism since taking office. The same year, she was criticized for not wearing a bra under a blazer in a magazine photo shoot.

But he manages to silence the voices when his ambitions are reflected in achievements: earned praise for his decisive leadership during the pandemic (according to a survey, 82% of Finns believe that the Prime Minister has handled it fairly well or very well) and for securing Finland’s next entry into NATO. She was chosen by the BBC Y Forbes among the hundred most influential and powerful women in the world in 2020

Environmental values ​​are an intrinsic part of his government’s motivations: “Climate change and biodiversity loss are some of the biggest issues of our time. Tackling them requires strong political will and determination.” He has promised that Finland will be net zero emissions by 2035.

Together with Volodymyr Zelensky (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)
Together with Volodymyr Zelensky (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS) (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER/)

Women’s rights are also part of the agenda. In February of this year, the government presented a bill to reform the penal code with regard to sexual offences: redefines rape as sex with anyone, regardless of age, who has not indicated verbal or non-verbal consent. Amnesty International had condemned Finland for not having a consent-based definition of rape: To prove rape, it must be shown that you were threatened with violence or that you were the victim of violence.

In the field of labor rights, after the birth of her daughter Emma in 2018, she and her partner Markus Räikkönen (married since 2020) split their parental leave equally (six months each) and when he came to government he announced plans to give mothers and fathers the same parental leave.

When she was elected prime minister, she initially refused to move into the official residence, opting instead to stay with Markus and Emma in their discreet apartment that might as well belong to someone else. millennial, with its pink sofa and abundance of plants. But when the pandemic exploded, she was forced to move in order to better manage the health crisis.

sanna marin
The apartment in which she lived before being forced to move to the official residence due to the pandemic

In her networks, she shares photos giving the breast, cooking and exercising like any other woman of her generation. She is warm, cheerful and loose, she shows herself in private as she does not in her professional life, in which she is seen as formal, attentive and cautious.

But in the last days, it is his private life that everyone talks about.

Last week, videos of Marin at a party with Finnish celebritieswhich were published by media around the world. It was a private celebration and in his spare time. She had to undergo a test of drugs to allay suspicions. He tested negative, as she had anticipated. She was later forced to apologize when she came to light – at another private party – an image in which they appeared two acquaintances influencers kissing and covering their bare breasts with a “Finland” sign, but this time from the official residence.

“In these dark times, I too need a little joy, light and fun. And that involves all kinds of photos and videos that I wouldn’t want to see, and I know you wouldn’t want to see.” She said days later on the verge of tears and with a somewhat broken voice, at a social democratic rally in the Lahti market square, where she was applauded: “I have not missed a single day of work, not a single task, and I never will.”

sanna marin
A photo you posted on your personal Instagram account


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