SENSE – A culturally sensitive dialogue on gender equality, right to self-determination, and sexual health

SENSE is a Folkhälsan project aiming to increase awareness about sexual health, self-determination, and gender equality issues among recently-arrived immigrants in bilingual Finnish municipalities.

Read more about Folkhälsan’s multi-cultural work

Två blommiga kaffekoppar samt chokladkaka står uppdukade på ett balkongsbord.


The right to self-determination and sexual health are important issues in work aiming at integration and inclusion. Cultural sensitivity skills – the ability to navigate various cultural norms and special characteristics – is helpful for everyone who, as a part of their job, meets people from diverse backgrounds.

  • The project will be implemented in two phases. First, the key personnel are trained, and then they in turn will further educate professionals and run study circles for recently-arrived immigrants.
  • The aim of the study circles is to use dialogue to promote understanding about sexual rights and gender equality. It is important that the participants feel they are heard and that a genuine discussion arises about attitudes towards sexuality and sexual rights in the participants’ former home countries. Simply providing space for discussion about previous experiences promotes better understanding of the subject and helps to understand the norms that apply in Finland. The study circles are run in Swedish, or partly in other languages that the study circle instructors are proficient in (mainly Bosnian, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Russian).
  • The SENSE project also provides advanced training about sexual health, gender equality, and right to self-determination. The target group of the training are professionals working with integration issues, health and care, and basic or early childhood education.

Themes covered include:

  • Sexual rights (law, physical integrity, right to self-determination)
  • Sexual health (enjoyment, well-being, sexuality in various phases of life)
  • Sexuality of children and young people (how to discuss)
  • Contraception, menstruation, and pregnancy
  • Gender equality in the society, in intimate relationships, within family
  • Norm awareness

Contact us!

  • If you wish to learn more about gender equality, sexual rights, and sexual health in Finland.
  • If you wish to share your own experiences and tell others what it is like to grow up and live in another country.
  • If you wish to participate in the SENSE project and help others.
  • If you are a professional working with integration issues, health and care, basic education, or early childhood education.

The SENSE project is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The target group of the project are professionals working with integration issues, health and care, and basic or early childhood education.

Contact us

    • Emina Arnautovic

      Project leader

    • Tel:
      044 788 1013

    • Contact
    • Senada Arnautovic

      Project coordinator, Southern Ostrobothnia

    • Tel:
      044 788 3632

    • Contact