Sanna Marin made history when, aged 34, she became the prime minister of Finland. Marin’s appointment may have shocked the world, but many in Finland saw her as the natural successor after former PM Antti Rinne resigned. “I want to build a society where every child can become anything,” Marin tweeted.

Marin recently came under fire from political rivals after a video showing Sanna and her friends dancing and drinking surfaced. Sanna acknowledged the clip as real and denied she did anything illegal at the private party:

“I myself have not used drugs, nor anything other than alcohol. Nor have I been in such a situation that I would have seen or known others [using drugs]. I was singing, partying… hugging my friends, doing totally legal things.”

Sanna’s alcoholic father split from her mother when Marin was young

Sanna Mirella Marin was born in Helsinki on 16th November 1985. The family faced financial troubles as her father, Lauri Marin, spent most of his money on alcohol. 

Lauri’s alcoholism led to his separation from Sanna’s mother. Sanna was very young when her parents separated and didn’t develop a relationship with his father. Reports claim Mirella had a half-brother and half-sister from her paternal side. 

Marin’s father passed away in July 2020; Sanna allegedly didn’t attend the funeral because she never considered Lauri her father. “I grew up without him, so I can say I don’t have a father,” Sanna told Vogue.

Marin was raised by her mom and her mom’s female partner

Marin was raised in Tampere, Finland, by her mom and her mom’s female partner. Lesbian relationships weren’t as acceptable back then as they are now, making Marin feel isolated as she couldn’t talk openly about her family. 

“That was something that couldn’t be discussed,” Marin told Finnish magazine Me Naiset. “It is only now in the 21st century that the debate about rainbow families has begun to be fairly open.”

Money was tight in Sanna’s household, forcing her to get jobs at a bakery and as a magazine distributor for pocket money. Sanna overcame the challenges, becoming the first person in her family to graduate high school and join university. 

“Her goal has always been to reach the top,” Johanna Loukaskorpi, a Finnish politician, told  Politico. “ She has been given many opportunities, but she has always risen to the challenge.”

After her appointment as PM, Marin reiterated her commitment to promoting diversity and equality. She told the Helsingin Sanomat daily:

“Without the strong Finnish welfare state and its education system, I would not have had the opportunities to succeed in my career. Growing up in a rainbow family, it is obvious that I value both equality and human rights.”