When I look at my political career, I realize how much we owe to the struggles of my mother and grandmother’s generations. By the time my grandmother became an adult, she was able to vote on equal terms with men because that universal right had been introduced in 1906, making Finnish women the first in the world legally allowed to run for office. Those rights came about largely because men and women, young and old, farmers, workers, entrepreneurs, everybody was needed in the struggle for independence, which we achieved in 1917.
Astrid Thors was Minister for Migration and European Affairs in Finland and High Commissioner on National Minorities for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. She is currently the Liberal International (LI) Party Vice-President and Vice-Chair of LI Human Rights Committee.