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Every 16-Year-Old in Sweden Will Get a Copy of We Should All Be Feminists

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s award-winning essay will be distributed to every sophomore student in the country.

Sweden is making feminism part of the required reading for teens. A new campaign aims to put a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists, a book-length essay adapted from her wildly popular TED Talk, in the hands of every 16-year-old in the country. The effort—which is organized by the Swedish Women’s Lobby, Swedish book publisher Albert Bonniers Förlag, and a consortium of other organizations—hopes to educate students on gender equality.

“This is the book that I wish all of my male classmates would have read when I was 16,” said Clara Berglund, a member of the Swedish Women’s Lobby, in the announcement. “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 essay, which became known to many teens around the world when it was sampled by Beyoncé in “Flawless,” argues that feminism is necessaty because it can address the specific problem of gender inequality in a way that a broader human rights mission cannot. The essay as a whole works to remove the stigma from the word “feminism” in simple, direct language that is accessible to a teen audience.

“I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world that is more just,” Adichie said in a video message to Swedish students:

“I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world where a woman is never told that she can or cannot or should or should not do anything because she is a woman. I want to live in a world where men and women are happier. Where they are not constrained by gender roles. I want to live in a world where men and women are truly equal. And that’s why I’m a feminist.”

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