Sanna Marin: The world's youngest sitting prime minister
"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" ~ Sanna Marin
Photo via World Economic Forum
Sanna Marin, 34, became the world’s youngest sitting prime minister when she was sworn in last December in Finland.
The country’s coalition government consists of five parties, four of which are led by women, with Ms. Marin now at the helm. Four of the women are under the age of 35, which Finnish political experts say is more significant, symbolic of the rise of a new generation of politicians in the Nordic nation, which has had strong female representation for decades.
“The past week has been extraordinary,” she told reporters, according to Helsingin Sanomat, a leading Finnish newspaper. “Now is the time to look ahead. What is needed now is action beyond words to build trust from all government parties.”
Marin's youth and gender "make her stand out from her predecessors, that for the most part have been males in their 50s," said Timo Miettinen, researcher at Helsinki University's Department of Political and Economic Studies.
Finland was the first country in the world to elect women to parliament, a little over a century ago. In that time, there have been just two female prime ministers before Marin, each serving for no longer than a year.
From CNN: Marin's modest background doesn't read like your average world leader's either.
Her parents divorced when she was a small child "because of my father's alcohol problem," Marin wrote in a 2016 blog. She grew up in a "rainbow family," her mother in a same-sex relationship, in the Pirkkala region, north of Helsinki. They lived in a rented apartment and despite not having much money, Marin wrote that they had an "abundance" of love.