Minna Canth born Ulrika Wilhelmina Johnsson, 19 March 1844 – 12 May 1897) was a Finnish writer and social activist. Canth began to write while managing her family draper's shop and living as a widow raising seven children. 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 play The Pastor's Family is her best known. 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.
Minna Canth is the first woman to receive her own flag day in Finland, starting on 19 March 2007. It is also the day of social equality in Finland.
Canth stood out when there was public debate about women's rights. In 1885 a Bishop had argued that God's order required that women were not emancipated. The writer Gustaf af Geijerstam then argued that men could only aspire to one day have the purity of women because they were fundamentally different and this was the reason for prostitution and other immorality, Canth objected strongly to this argument as it meant that men could defend their poor morals by reference to their implicit shortcomings, whereas any women involved in prostitution would lack the same defence