Some aspects of the Society in Sweden and in the Basque Country


Some aspects of the Society in Sweden and in the Basque Country
1.- School and Sex Education in Sweden.
We have a nine-year compulsory comprehensive school here in Sweden. We
start primary school at the age of 7. After that comes upper secondary school. We can
choose between 16 national programmes which last for three years. 14 of these prepare
for work, for example: Arts programme, Health care programme and Media programme.
The other two programmes: the Natural science programme and the Social science
programme prepare for university studies and they are the most popular ones. At the
Natural science programme we study a lot of mathematics, physics, technology, biology
and chemistry. The main subjects at the Social science programme are social studies,
economics and languages.
We can be given 4 different grades. If we fail in a subject we will get the grade
IG (failed) and otherwise we will get one of theese 3 grades: Passed (G), passed with
distinction (VG) or Passed with exceptional distinction (MVG). We must have a certain
number of marks to be able to graduate from the upper secondary school. Then we are
able to use our marks to apply for university education. We also have an adult education
school called Komvux. At komvux adults are able to study and young people may
complete their studies.
In Sweden we go to school Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm when we are in
upper secondary school. During the day we have 4-6 lessons. After every lesson we
have 10-minute break. Then we go to our personal locker and get our books for our next
lesson. In the middle of the day, around 12, we have a 1-hour lunchbreak.
The schoolyear begins in the middle of August and goes on to a few days before
Christmas. We start school again after a two-week holiday.The summer break starts in
the beginning of June. During the spring term we have two holidays. We have a oneweek sports-holiday and a one-week Easter-holiday.
Sex education starts at the age of seven in grade 1. The level of instruction is adapted to
the age, interests and needs of the students. It includes lectures, team projects and
discussions in small groups.
Contraception advice is provided as part of the public maternity care system, but
there are also more than 100 independent clinics intended especially for young people.
They can visit these clinics to ask questions, obtain contraceptives or find out whether
they have contracted sexually transmitted diseases.
Over the past 20 years, the number of abortions in Sweden has remained around
35 000 annually.Among teenagers, the number of abortions in 1992 was 11% smaller
than the year before and 16,7% smaller than in 1989. This sharp decline may be due to
the governement subsidization of contraceptive pills in order to prevent abortions.
2.- Population and inmigrants in Sweden.
In December 1993, Sweden had 8,8 million inhabitants. Young people
aged 16-24 made up 12% of Swedens´s population. According to statistical
projections, the percentage of young people in the population will remain largely
unchanged during the foreseeable future.
Of all inhabitants aged 0-17 years in December 1993, 81% had Swedish
parents. Second-generation immigrants accounted for 14% of this age category.
Earlier, young people generally moved out of their parent´s home, only
when it was time to move in with a partner. Today this pattern has been replaced
by a growing tendency to leave home and form a one-person household.
When you get here you might be a
bit surprised to see that Sweden has a
great number of people from different
cultures, comparing to Spain. In Sweden
we have 8.7 millions inhabitants. 14% of
them are immigrants (1994), or at least
have one parent born in another country.
The reason is that after the World
War II we needed a lot of workers to work
in our industries, and they came mostly
from other European countries.
During the 1960s Sweden
experienced two major waves of
immigration: the first, in the mid-1960s
consisted primarily of workers from
Yugoslavia, Greece and Turkey, while
during the second period, 1968-70, there
were mostly workers from Finland. We
still receive a fairly great number of
immigrants. Some Swedes don´t like it,
but some think it´s a good thing to do.
3.- The Samis.
The Samis are a people who live in the northern parts of Norway,
Sweden, Finland and on the peninsula of Kola. They have lived there from times
inmemorial. Nowadays, the Samis live just like us, but before, they lived in
groups formed by many different families, using their natural resources
In the old days, reindeer breeding was very important. The Samis ajusted
themselves to the reindeers. Because of the fact that the reindeers couldn´t graze
at the same place for a very long time, the reindeers had to find new grazing land
and the Samis moved with them.
No one really knows how long the Samis have devoted themselves to
reindeer breeding but there is a story from the year 500. And that story tells us
that reindeer breeding in those days was because they needed the milk and they
also needed help to carry their things when they moved.
Sami has three dialects; oriental Sami, central Sami and southern Sami.
The central Sami is the most spoken dialect.
Before, because of the way the Samis lived, the possibility or need of
any kind of teaching didn´t exist. The children learned what they had to
know by watching their parents or other grown-ups.
In the year of 1632, a school was established where the Samish (Lappish)
children could learn how to read and write. Now, there are public and local
schools in Norway, Finland and Sweden (that I know of) where Samish children
can learn swedish and also learn about their own language and culture.
The Samis have a special way of singing. It´s called "jojk". They use it
either to explain an event or to describe a person or the scenery.
Of later years, the Samis have begun to write. In the 1910´s, Johan Turi
published his book "Mui´talus sa´miid birra". It´s a story about the way
of Samish living. During the last 30 years, Turi has published a great
number of books. He writes for example about the history of his village
and the history of reindeer breeding.
The most well known contemporary authors among the Sami today are
Kirsti Paltto, Paulus Utsi, and Nils Aslak Valkeapää.
4.- Equality between men and women in Sweden.
Teenaged girls in Sweden are more independent nowadays than 40 years ago.
Women and girls in general were in a weak position compared to men. Before, men did
all the hard work and the women did the housework. Now women and girls have more
and show more interest in the technical stuff.
Nowadays men and women try to share the household work. Mothers don’t
have to stay home taking care of her child/children anymore, because we have a very
developed daycare center system. The parents can just drop their kids off on their way
to work.
Women in their 40’s nowadays have jobs to go to, not like 40 years ago.
Women' position in Sweden today is the result of a long fight which began in the second
half of the 19th century. Even in politics swedish women are at the same level than men
with 40% of seats in Parliament.
5.- La mujer en Euskadi.
Hoy en día, el número de chicas y chicos que estudian es parecido. Sin
embargo, no hace muchos años, en nuestro país, se educaba a la mujer para que
trabajase dentro de casa y al hombre para que hiciese los trabajos duros. De esta
manera aunque las mujeres pudieran ir a la escuela había diferencias entre los sexos.
En nuestro país, en la ikastola ( Escuela donde la educación se recibe en
euskera) , las clases se empezaron a dar a chicas y chicos juntos. Al final de los años
sesenta hubo muchos cambios importantes; los hicieron las mujeres. En enseñanzas
medias la presencia de la mujer está equilibrada con la del hombre. En la universidad el
acceso de mujeres y hombres es similar hoy en día, pero las mujeres son minoritarias en
las carreras técnicas. Se ha comprobado que el rendimiento académico de las mujeres es
superior al del hombre.
Desde 1977 la Constitución dice que la igualdad jurídica de todos los
ciudadanos es igual e impide cualquier discriminación por razón de sexo. A pesar de
ello, a veces por ignorancia y a veces por incapacidad de apartarse de las costumbres,
los derechos de las mujeres no son a menudo respetados ni en el hogar, ni en la calle ni
en el centro de trabajo.
Antes solo participaban los hombres en los deportes vascos porque para
practicarlos se necesita fuerza. Los hombres pensaban que las mujeres no tenían esa
fuerza y aparte de esto ellas tenían que trabajar en casa. Hoy en día, las mujeres hacen
los mismos deportes que los hombres pero todavía no hay la misma cantidad de chicas
que de chicos.
Por ejemplo tenemos dos tenistas muy famosas como Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
y Conchita Martínez, también Blanca Fernández Ochoa que es esquiadora etc. En
equipos femeninos tenemos un equipo de gimnasia rítmica que ha ganado una medalla
olímpica y otro de jockey sobre hierba, etc.
El número de mujeres que trabaja, hoy en día, es mucho menor que el de los
hombres. Por lo menos en trabajos importantes como políticos, empresarios, jefes, etc.
En cambio en trabajos como secretaria, cajera, peluqueras, etc. el número de mujeres es
mayor que el de los hombres. En el sector primario (agricultura y pesca) el porcentaje
de mujeres es de un 13 % frente al 87 % de hombres. En el sector secundario (industria)
el porcentaje de mujeres es de un 2 %. En el sector terciario (servicios - educación,
transportes , sanidad ... -) el porcentaje de mujeres es de un 16 %.
Hoy en día en muchas casas de nuestro pueblo es la mujer la que hace las
labores de casa, aunque también trabajen fuera de ella. Esto no ocurre en todos los
casos, desde hace un tiempo los trabajos de una mujer se reparten entre todos, hombres
y mujeres. Pero hace muchos años sólo las mujeres trabajaban dentro de casa, los
hombres no hacían nada. Hoy en día solo un 8 % de los hombres hacen labores en casa.

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