Alva Myrdal (31 January 1902 – 1 February 1986) was a Swedish sociologist, diplomat, and politician. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1982.

Life and Career

She was born on 31 January 1902, in Uppsala, Sweden. In 1924, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Stockholm.

In 1929, she moved to the U.S. with her husband and studied experimental schools in the country.

Between 1930 and 1931, she went to the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She earned a master’s degree in social psychology from the University of Uppsala.

She founded a preschool teacher’s training college, The Social Pedagogical Institute, which she directed until 1948.

In 1943, she was appointed to the Social Democratic Party’s post-war program committee. In the same year, she joined the Government Commission on International Post-War Aid and Reconstruction.

She became director of the United Nations Department of Social Welfare in 1949-50. She was chair of the Department of Social Sciences at UNESCO from 1950 to 1955.

She served as Sweden’s ambassador to India from 1955 to 1961.

In 1961, she became the Swedish foreign ministry’s disarmament adviser. She was elected to the Swedish Parliament as a Social Democrat the next year and headed the Swedish delegation to Geneva.

She also helped establish Stockholm International Peace Research (SIPRI).

During her career, she also published some great stuff on disarmament. Among her non-fiction works are ‘Nation and Family’ (1965), ‘Women’s Two Roles’ (1968), ‘War, Weapons and Everyday Violence’ (1977), and ‘Dynamics of European Nuclear Disarmament’ (1981).

Alva Myrdal died on 1 February 1986, in Danderyd, Sweden.


She won the Albert Einstein Peace Prize in 1980 and the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1981.

In 1982, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on disarmament negotiations.

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