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Hilda Käkikoski

Hilda Maria Käkikoski was a Finnish politician, writer, and schoolteacher who played a significant role in women’s history in Finland. Known for her tomboyish nature, she moved to Helsinki at 14 to pursue an education. Käkikoski’s unconventional teaching methods and assertive demeanor made her a fascinating role model. She became an advocate for women’s rights, and in 1907, she became one of the pioneering 19 women elected to the newly established Parliament of Finland, marking a groundbreaking achievement. Despite facing health problems, Käkikoski made notable contributions to literature and maintained several romantic relationships throughout her life. Her impact on Finnish society, particularly in the realm of women’s rights, continues to inspire.

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Ritva Arvelo

Ritva Helinä Arvelo (1921- ), a Finnish actress, director, and screenwriter, was one of the first four Finnish women film directors. She made significant contributions to Finnish cinema and the performing arts scene over several decades. Arvelo’s diverse career included dancing, acting, directing, and screenwriting, leaving a lasting impact on the arts in Finland.

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Alexandra Gripenberg

Alexandra Gripenberg, a Finnish social activist and politician, was a leading figure in the women’s rights movement in Finland. She founded the country’s first women’s rights organization and served as its president for multiple terms. Gripenberg also played a vital role in the establishment of women’s magazines and the international women’s rights movement. Her dedication and contributions continue to inspire future generations in the fight for equality.

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Rosina Heikel

Emma Rosina Heikel, the first female physician in Finland and the Nordic countries, fought for equal access to education for women. She overcame obstacles by studying physiotherapy and midwifery in Sweden before finally being granted permission to study medicine at the University of Helsinki. Heikel dedicated her career to women’s and children’s health, advocating for their well-being and rights. Her legacy as a pioneering physician and advocate for gender equality continues to inspire women today.

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Maggie Gripenberg

Margarita Maria “Maggie” Gripenberg was a pioneer of modern dance in Finland. She introduced Dalcroze Eurhythmics to the country and modeled her early works after Isadora Duncan’s improvisational style. Gripenberg’s innovative approach to dance and her commitment to education left a lasting impact on the world of dance, making her a trailblazer in women’s history.

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Fredrika Bremer

Fredrika Bremer, the Finnish-born Swedish writer and feminist reformer, made a lasting impact on Swedish society. Known as the Swedish Jane Austen, her Sketches of Everyday Life gained immense popularity in Britain and the United States. Her fight for women’s rights and equality continues to inspire feminists and reformers today.

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Sylvi Saimo

Sylvi Riitta Saimo was a Finnish athlete and politician who defied societal expectations. She excelled in cross-country skiing, athletics, and orienteering. Saimo became the first-ever female Finnish Olympic Champion in canoeing at the 1952 Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal in the K-1 500 m event. She also achieved success in the 1950 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, winning two gold medals. Saimo’s impact went beyond sports as she served in the Finnish Parliament and advocated for the rights of her constituents.

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Enni Rukajärvi

Enni Eriika Rukajärvi was born on May 13, 1990, in Kuusamo, Finland. She is a Finnish snowboarder who has made a significant impact on the sport, winning numerous championships and earning multiple Olympic medals. Rukajärvi’s journey in snowboarding began at the age of ten when she first took to the slopes. Her natural talent quickly became evident, and she soon began competing at a high level.

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Polina Zherebtsova

Polina Zherebtsova, a prominent Chechen Russian documentarian, poet, and author, offers a unique and intimate perspective on the three Chechen wars through her widely acclaimed diaries, “Ant in a Glass Jar.” Her exceptional talent has been recognized through prestigious awards, including the Janusz Korczak International Prize and the Andrei Sakharov Award. Despite challenges and threats to her safety, Zherebtsova remains committed to truth and justice, seeking political asylum in Finland in 2013. Her impactful works have been translated into multiple languages and she continues to amplify her storytelling through interviews and literary festivals.

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FinlandIce Hockey

Riikka Sallinen

Hanna-Riikka Sallinen, also known as Riikka Sallinen, was born on June 12, 1973, in Finland. Throughout her career, she made significant contributions to the sports of ice hockey, bandy, rinkball, and pesäpallo. Sallinen is widely recognized as one of the most highly decorated players in international ice hockey history.

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FinlandIce Hockey

Jenni Hiirikoski

Jenni Hiirikoski is a Finnish ice hockey player and captain of the Finnish national team. She is regarded as one of the best defencemen in the world, winning the IIHF Directorate Best Defenceman award seven times in the 2010s. With her exceptional skill and leadership, she has led Luleå to three SDHL championships and has been a key player for the Finnish national team, helping them become a force in women’s ice hockey.

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