First Lady leads celebrations for 175th anniversary of Minna Canth’s birth

Writer championed women's rights, feminism and other important social topics of the mid-1800s.

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First Lady Jenni Haukio gives a speech to commemorate Minna Canth's 175 birthday, 18th March 2019 / Credit: Anni Reenpää, TPK

Finland is marking a day of equality, and the 175th birthday of author and social influencer Minna Canth today.

She is the first Finnish woman to have her own flag day, which has been celebrated since 2007.

This year to commemorate the day, events with poetry, plays and song are being staged in different parts of the country, with the official celebrations being lead by First Lady Jenni Haukio, herself a noted poet.

At a celebration at the National Theatre in Helsinki on the even of the 175th anniversary celebrations, Haukio said that Canth “worked for equality, peace, labour and religious freedom.”

“Above all, she maintained her struggle until the end of oppression and injustice” said the First Lady in a speech.

File picture of Minna Canth / Credit: Wikipedia

Canth’s Life In Literature

Minna Canth was born in Tampere in 1844 and studied to be a teacher, but the author, playwright and journalist spent much of her life living in Jyväskylä and Kuopio.

She started running a small business when her husband died, and this supported Canth and her seven children, enabling her to indulge in a love of literature.

Writing in Finnish and Swedish she championed women’s rights, feminism and other important social topics of the day.