Sanna Marin is making waves. If this name is new to you, 34-year-old Marin assumed office on Dec 10, 2019 as the 46th Prime Minister of Finland, following Antti Rinne’s resignation due to controversy and criticism. Part of the Social Democratic Party, Marin is the youngest currently-serving Prime Minister in the world, Finland’s youngest Prime Minister ever, and their third female Prime Minister. Taking second and third place behind Marin as the youngest serving state leaders, are Oleksiy Honcharuk, the 35-year-old Prime Minister of Ukraine, and Kim Jong-un, the 36-year-old Supreme Leader of North Korea.
Here are 6 fun facts about this literal girl boss that the world didn’t ask for, but definitely deserves.
1. She leads a cabinet which consists primarily of women
As the head of government, she leads the Marin government which is formed by a 5-party coalition, with 12 out of her 19 cabinet ministers being women. Talk about girl power; this represents a generational shift, and a sign of changing times where women truly have equal opportunities and visibility as men.
2. Following her biological parents’ split when she was young, she grew up with same-sex parents
Marin’s parents split up when she was very young, following struggles with financial problems and her father’s battle with alcoholism.
After their split, Marin was brought up by her mum and her mum’s new female partner. She thus describes herself as coming from a rainbow family, of which she was the only child.
3. She is a mother herself
As if she didn’t have her hands full being an actual Prime Minister, Marin is also a mum to a baby girl, proving that she is a real-life superwoman. Marin and her husband, Markus Räikkönen, welcomed their daughter, Emma, in Jan 2018.
As stated on her website, she spends her free time with her daughter and her family in their home in Tampere.
4. She was the first person in her family to attend university
Marin went to the University of Tampere, where she was the first person in her family to attend university. She graduated in 2017 with a Masters in Administrative Sciences.
5. Prior to being Prime Minister, she was always active in politics
Marin has been active in politics for over a decade. She joined the Social Democratic Youth in 2006, of which she was the first Vice President of the party.
She had been a member of the Parliament of Finland since 2015. Immediately prior to her current role as Prime Minister, she served as the Minister for Transport and Communications in the Rinne cabinet from Jun 6 to Dec 10, 2019.
6. Her core values are freedom, equality, and solidarity. Oh, and she cares deeply for the environment
So what exactly does Marin stand for? She believes that freedom, equality and solidarity are "the founding values of social democracy". In fact, Marin joined politics in order to influence the way society views its citizens and their rights, and these guiding values " have never been questions of opinion, but the basis of [her] moral conception".
Environmental issues and ecological sustainability are clearly issues also very close to her heart as she states that "climate change and biodiversity loss are some of the biggest problems of our time", and that "influencing them requires strong political determination and will".