Tampere wants to be equal for all – three actions to influence attitudes

Tampere wants to be a city where everyone feels welcome, accepted and safe. No racism, discrimination or other inappropriate behaviour will be tolerated. This autumn, the City of Tampere has taken three concrete actions to influence attitudes. A website on discrimination, the safer space principles and the Tampere for All campaign promote equality, non-discrimination and inclusion.

The City of Tampere's updated Equality and Non-Discrimination Plan was published in spring 2023, stating that the City of Tampere does not tolerate discrimination, inequality or inappropriate behaviour. Neglect of accessibility or accessibility issues is also discrimination.

A well-being survey for all Tampere residents was carried out around the time the new equality and non-discrimination plan was finalised. Around 2 800 people in Tampere responded to the survey.

One third of the respondents said they had experienced discrimination or unequal behaviour in the last year in Tampere. Age, gender or opinion were the most common grounds for discrimination.

– This result was not only related to city services, but to living in Tampere in general. Still, the result is shocking and needs to be addressed. The new equality and non-discrimination plan therefore includes a range of measures to promote equality and non-discrimination in the city in the coming years, says Mikko Ala-Kapee, non-discrimination coordinator.

– Many of the measures are related to influencing people's attitudes, Ala-Kapee continues.

Information on discrimination

This autumn, Tampere has taken three concrete and visible steps to promote equality and non-discrimination.

The city's website contains information on discrimination and what to do if you feel you have been discriminated against. Often the situation can be resolved by talking to someone on the spot, but sometimes it is worth seeking help and support of an external expert. The website provides contact details of authorities and organisations that can help in situations of discrimination. For guidance in Finnish, see tampere.fi/yhdenvertaisuus.

The law prohibits discrimination on grounds of age, ethnic origin and nationality, language and culture, religion and belief, opinion, political opinion and trade union activities, family background, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, health and disability, social and economic status or other individual factors. Such other characteristics include for excample body size, physical appearance or neurodiversity.

– Everyone must understand that freedom of expression does not mean that you can say whatever you want. There is a responsibility for what is said or even written on the internet. Everyones indredity needs to be respected, says Ala-Kapee.

The principles of safer space applied everywhere

Another equality measure that is visible throughout the city's own activities is the introduction of the principles of safer spaces in all its activities.

The Safer Space Principles are jointly developed guidelines on how to behave in spaces and events so that everyone can feel welcome and respected as themselves. The Principles contribute to a sense of social safety and accessibility.

During the autumn, the Safer Space Principles have been increasingly adopted. They are briefly reviewed at the beginning of various events. The principles have also been compiled on posters in the city's premises and on the website.

– The Safer Space Principles are particularly relevant for people from minority groups who have often experienced discrimination and are afraid of facing it again. This is minority stress, a persistent state of stress resulting from accumulated experiences of discrimination, the anxiety they cause and the sense of otherness. Stress can be alleviated through the principles of safer spaces, says Ala-Kapee.

– We all belong to different majorities and minorities, each with different characteristics. In a safer space, it is easy for everyone to be exactly who they are. The city is committed to the principles of a safer space and staff will intervene when necessary, says Mikko Ala-Kapee.

Tampere for All campaign proclaims equality

The latest act of non-discrimination is the ongoing 'Tampere for All' campaign. The campaign is a way for people in Tampere to show with their own faces that they do not accept racism or discrimination.

– We want equality to be the mainstream attitude in Tampere. I am delighted with the large and diverse group of Tampere residents who joined the campaign. The campaign does not rely on minorities, but whole the general public including so-called majorities also wanted to come out and proclaim equality. Mayor Kalervo Kummola is among of the Tampere citizens who is involved in the campaign, says Ala-Kapee.

Further information

Mikko Ala-Kapee
Equality coordinator
040 515 6166
Text: Johanna Kurela
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