Political Exclusions Attributable to Poor Relief in Early Twentieth-Century Finland = Exclusion du droit de vote des bénéficiaires de l’aide sociale en Finlande au début du xxe siècle

Elina Einiö, Hanna Wass, Miia Heinonen

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Finland was a pioneer in the democratization of Europe, granting women the right to vote on equal terms with men as early as 1906. In principle, men and women from all social classes were permitted to vote and stand for election. However, a proportion of the adult population – those who regularly received poor relief – was excluded from suffrage. Using internationally unique microdata on over 19,000 poor-relief recipients and the corresponding population registers of two provinces in Finland, we estimated the extent to which gender and age determined disenfranchisement due to poor relief during the 1911 parliamentary elections. Our results indicate that a disproportionate share of women, and especially of older people, were disenfranchised due to poor relief. The analysis provides novel evidence of the hidden discriminatory effects of an early welfare scheme. The system of poor relief not only provided support for older people in need but also disqualified many of them from political citizenship and introduced gender inequality in basic rights.
Original languageFrench
JournalPopulation (French Edition)
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)137-153
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Bibliographical note

En français sur le pages 137-153.

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • 517 Political science

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