Today, flags are hoisted to honor Miina Sillanpää’s Day and the Day of the Citizen Participation.

Picture: The funeral of Miina Sillanpää in front of the Old Church of Helsinki in 1952. – Kannisto Väinö / Helsinki City Museum


M iina Sillanpää (1866-1952) was Finland’s first female minister and known as a key figure of the workers’ movement. She served 38 years as a member of the parliament, tirelessly promoting social matters and values she believed in. She worked continuously to improve women’s position in society.

This is the third year in a row when the flag day is celebrated but—even if the Ministry of the Interior recommends October 1 as the official flag day for Sillanpää—the day is yet to become established in the calendar.

In the ‘30s Sillanpää was active in creating women’s shelters and she was a strong advocate for women’s working rights.