March 24, 2011 – On March 18, equality and Finnish women were given all due respect at the launch of the Hella Wuolijoki and Equality commemorative coin. Mint of Finland gave the commemorative coin to the Minister of Equality Stefan Wallin, to Hella Wuolijoki’s grandson, MP Erkki Tuomioja and to film director Juha Wuolijoki.
The theme of the launch was the importance of equality and strong women to Finnish society. The commemorative coin in honour of writer, politician and business manager Hella Wuolijoki (1886-1954) thus gathered different advocates of equality.
“There are many opinions on Hella Wuolijoki, but she is unarguably an outstanding woman in the history of our country and thus makes an ideal theme for a collector coin celebrating equality. Strong women are important role models for us all, but particularly so for young girls on their way to womanhood. Good role models help us build a better world where people have equal rights,” says Mint of Finland’s CEO Paul Gustafsson.
The Finnish Woman’s Coin
Wuolijoki is best remembered for her Niskavuori novel series and for Hulda from Juurakko. In all these works, Wuolijoki’s characters included a strong woman. In Niskavuori, life moved forward through strong, decisive women.
The first instalments of the Niskavuori series were published just before Finland’s Winter War. It is easy to see the link between these plays and Finnish society where men of working age fought on the front line and women kept things going on the home front.
“Finland would not be what it is today without these strong women – women who raised children, maintained their households and still kept the wheels of the country turning,” CEO Paul Gustafsson points out.
“This is a wonderful time in history where historical figures are re-interpreted. Today, history emphasizes women in a new way, and it also makes the great figures more human,” says Tanja Auvinen, Secretary General of the Coalition of Finnish Women’s Associations. Auvinen also received the Hella Wuolijoki and Equality collector coin at the launch.
Single Mother and Career Woman
Juha Wuolijoki, the director of the Hella W. film, emphasizes central themes related to equality in his film. Many modern women identify with these themes.
“Hella was an immigrant and a single mother who tried to combine a career with motherhood. She faced the same challenges as modern women,” Wuolijoki says. Hella W. was released on 28 January 2011. So far it has been seen by more than 75,000 spectators.
2011 is the 125th anniversary of Hella Wuolijoki’s birth. The Hella Wuolijoki and Equality commemorative coin is the second in the Great Finnish Women coin series. In 2010, the series was launched with the Minna Canth and Equality commemorative coin.
If you want to know more about the Mint of Finland, click here.
If you want to see the trailer of Hella W., click here.