Yesterday was the first official flag-raising day for a woman in Finland, the author Minna Canth (1844-97), an obvious nominee because of her social activism. There have been better writers, but she influenced the development of Finnish society through her writings and her salon.

I prefer celebrating Minna Canth and Equality to the International Women's Day. It probably never took hold in Finland because Finnish women, along with men, had got suffrage already in 1906 - partly thanks to Minna Canth - and it was ignored by most until the United Nations imposed it on us in the 1970s.

Flags on Vaasankatu: