Minna Canth (19.3.1844 – 12.5.1897) was a Finnish author, playwright, journalist, business woman and social activist. Canth was born into a textiler's family. A promising student, she was accepted into the first female class in a local university. She withdrew from university to get married, and raised seven children on her own after her husband's death in 1879.
In Jyväskylä she began writing for a newspaper, including columns on social issues, sobriety, and women's issues. She was the first Finnish-language female journalist.
But she is best known as a playwright and author. Through them she became known as a pioneer of women's rights. She published ten plays, seven novellas, and countless articles, columns, and speeches. Her play "The Pastor's Family" is her best known.
Her work addresses issues of women's rights, particularly in the context of a prevailing culture she considered antithetical to permitting expression and realization of women's aspirations. Her works, which scandalized her contemporaries, are credited with helping to change some unfair laws and raise the question of equal rights.
In her time, she became a controversial figure, due to the asynchrony between her ideas and those of her time, and in part due to her strong advocacy for her point of view.