Brave New Sweden

You’re all equal here: Swedish school bans ‘him’ and ‘her’ in bid to stop children falling into gender stereotypes

By Daily Mail ReporterLast updated at 12:46 PM on 27th June 2011

A pre-school in Sweden has decided to stop calling children ‘him’ or ‘her’ in a bid to avoid gender stereotypes.The Egalia preschool, in the Sodermalm district of Stockholm, has made the decision as part of the country efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood.

The school opened last year and is on a mission to break down gender roles – a core mission in the national curriculum for Swedish pre-schools.

The option to implement the rules is underpinned by a theory that society gives boys an unfair edge.

‘Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing,’ says Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher.’Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be.’

Meanwhile, nearly all the children’s books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no ‘Snow White,’ ‘Cinderella’ or other fairy tales.

Director Lotta Rajalin notes that Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

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