December 4, 2015

Every 16-year-old in Sweden is getting a copy of We Should All Be Feminists


Adichie during her 2013 TED Talk. Image via YouTube

Adichie during her 2013 TED Talk. Image via YouTube.

What’s the difference between a 16-year old in Sweden and a 16-year old in Britain?

In Britain, the government is planning to axe the study of gender equality and patriarchy from the A-Level curriculum.

In Sweden, every 16-year-old is about to receive a free copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.

Adichie’s feminist manifesto was first given as a TED talk in 2013 and has since been viewed over 2 million times online. It was published as the short book We Should All Be Feminists in 2014 and became a success and popular Christmas gift. Beyoncé took the talk to the next level by sampling part of it on her song “Flawless.”

Now, as Books Live reports, the Swedish publisher Albert Bonniers is working with the Swedish Women’s Lobby to ensure every 16-year-old gets a copy of the text—100,000 have already been distributed.

At the book’s launch Clara Berglund, chair of the Swedish Women’s Lobby said:

This is the book I would have wanted to get for all the guys in my class when I was 16 years old. That is why it is so important that we contribute to this project. It is a gift to all students in grades two, but also a gift to ourselves and to future generations.

Johanna Haegerström, publisher at Albert Bonniers, said she hoped the book would “open up a conversation about gender and gender roles, starting from young people’s own experiences.”

In a video recording Adichie welcomed the publication, telling her teenage audience:

When I was 16, I don’t think I knew what the word ‘feminist’ meant. I don’t think I knew the word at all. But I was a feminist. And I hope that the 16-year-olds that will read this book in Sweden will also decide that they’re feminists.






Zeljka Marosevic is the managing director of Melville House UK.