Every 16 Year Old in Sweden to receive a copy of We Should All Be Feminists
7th Dec 2015
When Beyoncé featured an excerpt from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2013 TEDx talk We Should All Be Feminists in her smash hit ‘Flawless’, mainstream understanding of feminism was changed forever. Now the printed transcript of Adichie’s talk is being translated into Swedish under the title Alla Borde Vara Feminister. Published by Albert Bonniers Förlag, it’s set to be distributed to every 16 year-old in Sweden.
Adichie’s long list of awards and achievements marks her out as a much loved and celebrated author. Just last month she received a Special Recognition Award from Forbes Africa for her contribution to literature, and was shortlisted for their 2015 Person Of The Year. But it is the prospect that every young person in Sweden will be given the chance to read the speech in which Adichie seamlessly intertwines her personal experiences of growing up in Nigeria with an analysis of feminism today, that the true scope of her influence becomes apparent. At a time when issues of gender inequality are increasingly prominent in public and private discourse, Adichie’s work could bring about real change in the political landscape.
The initiative is being piloted by Albert Bonniers in association with the Swedish Women’s Lobby, the United Nations Association, the Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees, The Swedish Trade Union Confederation, Teaspoon, Unizon, and Gertrud Aström. The hopes of those involved are clear. Clara Berglund, chair of the Swedish Women’s Lobby, describes Alla Borde Vara Feminister as ‘the book I would have wanted to get for all the guys in my class when I was 16 years-old’, while Johanna Haegerström of Albert Bonniers hopes the book will ‘open up a conversation about gender and gender roles, starting from young people’s own experiences’.
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. The book was launched at Norra Real secondary school in Stockholm, where a message from Adichie was played. She explained why she is a feminist, adding: ‘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’. With 100,000 copies already distributed, it seems certain that some have already been inspired.
Perhaps the rest of the world should take note.