No "boys" and "girls" at gender-neutral preschool in Sweden
Swedish children from a kindergarden wear their obligatory traffic safety vests as they play in a Stockholm park. At the "Egalia" preschool in Sweden, staff refer to the children as "friends" instead of "boys" and "girls," in an attempt to breakdown gender stereotypes for boys and girls. (SVEN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
June 26th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

No "boys" and "girls" at gender-neutral preschool in Sweden

Editor's Note: Check out this GlobalPost blog for more offbeat global news.

preschool in Sweden wants to eliminate gender bias by referring to children as “friends,” instead of girls and boys, and avoiding gender-specific pronouns such as “him” or “her.”

At the taxpayer-funded “Egalia” preschool in Stockholm, which opened last year for children ages 1-6, boys and girls play together with a toy kitchen, which is located next to the Lego bricks, the Associated Press reports.

They read books featuring gay and lesbian couples, single parents and adopted children, instead of fairy tales such as “Cinderella” or “Snow White,” which are rife with gender stereotypes.

School staff try to avoid masculine and feminine references in their speech, for example by not using the Swedish pronouns “han” or “hon” for him or her, and instead using the genderless word “hen,” which doesn’t formally exist in the Swedish language.

"Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing," teacher Jenny Johnsson told the AP. "Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be."

Watch: Weclome to fake China.

A 2010 report by the World Economic Forum on the global gender gap found that Sweden and three other Nordic countries lead the world when it comes to gender equality. Sweden is also considered a pioneer in legalizing gay and lesbian partnerships.

A Canadian couple recently drew international attention for their decision to try and raise a genderless baby by not telling anyone whether their child is a boy or girl.

When Storm was born, the couple from Toronto told friends and family that they had decided not to share the baby’s sex.

Read: Penguin lost in New Zealand offered a ride home.

“When the baby comes out, even the people who love you the most and know you so intimately, the first question they ask is, ‘Is it a girl or a boy?’” mother Kathy Witterick explained to the Toronto Star. “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.”

Storm’s brothers Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2, choose their own clothes and hairstyles. Jazz prefers to wear his hair long and in three braids, and his favorite color is pink.

Read more at Global Post.

Post by:
Topics: Culture • Europe

soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Emogene Heling

    How do i build a blog without using blogger or any of those websites?

    December 28, 2020 at 2:04 am |
  2. Retta Antuna

    I like Facebook, but I hate that their notes section isn't as appealing as MySpace's blogs. I've recently transferred a blog from MySpace to Facebook using the "share" icon located beneath each blog.. . However, I do not like the way it appears on my Facebook page. Are there any better ways to import my blogs?.

    December 28, 2020 at 6:20 am |
  3. Colin Horelick

    Every code I try either leaves a massive gap at the top of the page, or at the bottom of the page. Its definitely that code causing it.. I've tried so many codes trying to hide the blogs & extended network, but they all leave a white gap either at the top or at the bottom.. Anyone got one that doesnt cause the white gap? Or how to remove the white gap?.

    January 4, 2021 at 1:46 am |
  4. Hector

    Check out my page: read more

    January 8, 2021 at 4:50 am |
  5. Curt

    Feel free to visit my web blog; website

    January 8, 2021 at 5:55 am |
  6. Lokualkat

    canadian pharmacy reviews erectile dysfunction treatment peoples pharmacy

    January 9, 2021 at 12:42 pm |
  7. Nllpwhilk

    online pharmacy drugstore cvs drugstore

    January 10, 2021 at 3:14 am |
  8. Jtmfalkat

    canadian pharmacy cialis canada pharmacy us online pharmacy

    January 11, 2021 at 11:10 pm |
  9. JlloEndut

    erectile dysfunction medications dysfunction best drugstore setting spray

    January 12, 2021 at 3:59 pm |
  10. Khthweep

    peoples pharmacy best drugstore mascara erectile dysfunction drug

    January 12, 2021 at 11:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.