"Saving the mother, you save the child" said Miina Sillanpää who dedicated her life to campaigning for a wide range of social issues.
Miina Sillanpää (1866-1952) was ahead of her time when she started shelters for single mothers and their children. The Ensi Koti ("First Home") movement was initiated in the 1930s by her and the first shelter was established in Helsinki in 1942.
Miina Sillanpää’s first jobs were as a factory worker and domestic servant. She later worked actively towards improving servants’ rights and working conditions.
She also was a member of the Finnish Parliament for a total of 38 years, and she was the country’s first female minister. As a member of the Parliament and the Minister for Social Affairs, her focus was particularly on the social circumstances of children, families, elderly people and domestic servants.
From 1945 there has been a central organization of "First Home", now called Mother and Child Homes and Shelters, for its 30 member associations around Finland. Through their services they support families in managing their daily lives and they strengthen the parent-child interaction. They help mothers and fathers to find their particular strengths as parents amidst the trouble.
The Miina Sillanpää Foundation was founded in 1965. It organizes and supports rehabilitation services for working-age and elderly populations and do research and development that promote public health, well-being and quality of life.
The Foundation seeks practical models and solutions,that are implemented nation-wide. Eg. the Clinical Neuropsychology Research Group at the University of Helsinki together with the Foundation has been developing a network based rehabilitation model for patients with early phases of memory problems and has developed a software based on the FORAMENRehab which is freely available for everyone to try their memory https://www.miinasillanpaa.fi/aivotreeni/.
The primary goal of the International Gender Equality Prize is to create a platform for the further promotion of gender equality across the world.
The prize committee is accepting suggestions from the general public. Who do you think the first winner should be? Submit your suggestion until May 31, 2017.