The Swedish Women’s Lobby is to issue every 16-year old a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists in a bid to assist their progressive thinking.
The book, an adaptation of Adichie’s TED Talk of the same name, focuses on her own identification as a feminist and the negative connotations of the word.
Referring to the distribution of the text as a “gift,” Clara Berglund, the chairperson of the group, hopes that exposure to the text will encourage people to discuss feminism.
“This is the book that I wish all of my male class mates would have read when I was 16,” she said. “It feels so important to contribute to this project. It is a gift to all second grade high school students, but it is also a gift to ourselves and future generations.”
The move comes at a time when other countries are trying to eradicate the negative aspects of feminist ideology in the educational system. The UK government elected to remove feminism from the A-level politics syllabus to give increased focus on other aspects. Of course, historically important feminist movements such as the suffragette cause are included, but are instead to be covered in more general terms about protest and pressure groups influencing wider societal changes.
This didn’t prevent feminists compiling a petition with over 40,000 signatures to return feminism to a more prominent position on the syllabus.
Speaking in a video for the teenagers who are set to receive the book, Adichie said that she didn’t know what the word feminism meant but after learning about it she knew that she did indeed identify as one. She says “feminism is about justice” and adds, “I hope that the 16-year-olds that will read this book in Sweden will also decide that they’re feminists.”