Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! Or maybe “happy” is too… happy. After all, there’s still a lot of inequality in the world.

Swedish 9-year-olds are already aware of this. Today I visited the third-grade class that I’m observing for my Swedish Education System class. Each morning the teacher and one of the students look at the calendar and announce the date, what’s for lunch, and anything else important that’s going on. Jakob read from the calendar that today is Internationella kvinnodagen. The teacher said “And why do we have International Women’s Day?” “Because men and women weren’t always equal,” said a few of the kids. “Are they equal everywhere in the world today?” “Noooooooo,” said all the children in unison. “That’s right,” the teacher said, “Even in our country, some immigrant women aren’t equal in their own families.”

Gender equality is one of the core principles in the Swedish national school curricula. The effect is noticable.

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