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All 16-year-olds in Sweden to get copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Feminists’ essay

Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s piece “We Should All Be Feminists” will be given to every 16-year-old in Sweden.

(Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)

A women’s rights organization and publisher have teamed up to give every 16-year-old in Sweden a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay “We Should All Be Feminists,” the Guardian reports.

“We Should All Be Feminists” is based on a popular TED talk given by Adichie in 2012. The lecture has garnered more than 2.3 million views on YouTube since it was posted in 2013. In the talk, Adichie says, “I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.”

Adichie’s talk entered the pop culture spotlight in an unexpected way in 2013, when superstar musician Beyoncé sampled lines from the lecture in her single “Flawless.” The last lines of the sample feature Adichie’s definition of the word “feminist": “the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”

Adichie, who lives in both her native Nigeria and the U.S., is the author of the novels “Americanah,” which won the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction in 2014, and “Half of a Yellow Sun,” adapted as a film in 2013. Earlier this year, she was one of two novelists named to the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

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The giveaway is being sponsored by the Swedish Women’s Lobby, an umbrella group that advocates for women’s rights in Sweden, and by Albert Bonniers Förlag, the publisher of the Swedish-language edition of the essay.

Swedish Women’s Lobby chair Clara Berglund announced the initiative, saying, “This is the book that I wish all of my male classmates would have read when I was 16 ... It is a gift to all second-grade high-school students, but it is also a gift to ourselves and future generations.”


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