Roald, Berit
Photo: Roald, Berit / Scanpix.

Women make up only 13 percent of names in Swedish history books

"An obsession with writing about wars"
5:29 min

Women account for only 13 percent of the people considered in four history books used in Swedish schools. An inquiry by daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter found in two books that the ratio became more lopsided the closer the historical period came to the present day.

"This is upsetting from a democratic perspective," Ann-Sofie Ohlander, a professor emeritus from Örebro University, told the newspaper. "There is a big risk that young women won't care about history because it's not about them."

The newspaper says that all of the books were written to accord with a new national curriculum which took effect in 2011. That curriculum calls for greater emphasis on gender equality in instruction.

Representatives from the various publishers said that they were aware of the misbalance and faced some challenges in trying to emphasize the histories of women. Other book publishers say that while they can spotlight women's perspectives, it often happens generally without specifying historical individuals.

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