B2 Book section
Finnish welfare service system from the standpoint of women in vulnerable life situations (2021)

Virokannas, E., Salovaara, U., Krok, S., & Kuronen, M. (2021). Finnish welfare service system from the standpoint of women in vulnerable life situations. In M. Kuronen, E. Virokannas, & U. Salovaara (Eds.), Women, Vulnerabilities and Welfare Service Systems (pp. 26-38). Routledge. Routledge Advances in Social Work. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429276910-4

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Virokannas, Elina; Salovaara, Ulla; Krok, Suvi; Kuronen, Marjo

Parent publication: Women, Vulnerabilities and Welfare Service Systems

Parent publication editors: Kuronen, Marjo; Virokannas, Elina; Salovaara, Ulla

ISBN: 978-0-367-22802-6

eISBN: 978-0-429-27691-0

Journal or series: Routledge Advances in Social Work

Publication year: 2021

Pages range: 26-38

Number of pages in the book: 186

Publisher: Routledge

Place of Publication: Abingdon, Oxon

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429276910-4

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/72188


In this chapter, the authors analyse how the Finnish welfare service system, as it consists of different institutions and professionals, meets or fails to meet the needs of women in varying vulnerable life situations. The participants are women with severe substance abuse problems, women sentenced for committing a crime and poor lone mothers living on basic social benefits. The findings show that women’s experiences of encounters with welfare professionals as well as their access to and use of the services share a number of characteristics. They described several barriers and problems related to the complexity of the service system. These included receiving only limited support for basic needs combined with the experiences of stigmatisation and the lack of trust in professionals and problems with face-to-face interaction with them. There is a moral stigma on these women, who have failed both as ‘active citizens’ and as ‘decent women’. The welfare system does not recognise their specific needs as women. The guiding principle of the Finnish welfare service system is gender equality rather than a feminist or gender-sensitive approach, and women-specific welfare services are rare.

Keywords: welfare services; social services; women; woman's status; life situation; social policy; societal policy; welfare state

Free keywords: Finland

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Last updated on 2022-14-09 at 12:20