Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon

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Maria Elisabeth (Lisa) Ekedahl


Lawyer, suffragette

Lisa Ekedahl was active within the women’s- and suffragette-movements and she was one of the first women in Sweden to work in law.

Lisa Ekedahl was born in Växjö in 1895. Her maternal grandfather Johan Andersson had served as bishop in Växjö. Her mother Siri was an artist. Her father, Emil Ekedahl, was a trained lawyer and had studied at both Uppsala and Lund. He worked as a bailiff in the Konga area of Småland.

Lisa Ekedahl was part of the generation of young women who were prevented from gaining their school-leaving certificates due to family reasons. This meant that she was unable to study law at university level which was what she actually wanted to do. Lisa Ekedahl instead began, around 1920, to work as a secretary at Eva Andén’s legal office. While she was employed there she studied law by herself and sat the exams which formed part of a law degree. However, because she lacked a school-leaving certificate and extended periods of time had passed between opportunities to sit the exams she was unable to retain all of her credits. This meant that she was never able to formally gain legal qualifications and thus could not officially be recognised as a lawyer. Despite this she continued to work in the legal sphere until she retired. Lisa Ekedahl remained at Eva Andén’s office throughout her working life. Lisa Ekedahl and Eva Andrén were more than just work colleagues – they lived together from the 1920s onwards. Both of them remained unmarried. In 1930 they had a house built in Danderyd in which they both lived until their respective deaths.

Lisa Ekedahl was the cousin and close friend of Elin Wägner. She was also her legal advisor. The two cousins would often travel together. When Elin Wägner was on her deathbed in the winter of 1948-9 Lisa Ekedahl took care of her. Following Wägner’s death Lisa Ekedahl and Eva Andén both served as executors for Elin Wägner’s estate. Lisa Ekedahl also handled Elin Wägner’s comprehensive literary estate, which she later passed on to Barbro Alving. It had been Elin Wägner who had put Lisa Ekedahl in touch with the Fogelstad group and its network, as well as enabling her work with the journal Tidevarvet. Once Eva Andén had been elected as a member of Samfundet De Nio (The Nine Society) in 1940 Lisa Ekedahl became good friends with the likes of the poet Hjalmar Gullberg and the newspaper man Ivar Harrie. Eva Andén and Lisa Ekedahl also served as executors for Hjalmar Gullberg and Selma Lagerlöf.

Lisa Ekedahl died in Danderyd in 1980.

Elsa Trolle Önnerfors
(Translated by Alexia Grosjean)

Published 2018-03-08

You are welcome to cite this article but always provide the author’s name as follows:

Maria Elisabeth (Lisa) Ekedahl,, Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon (article by Elsa Trolle Önnerfors), retrieved 2024-07-23.

Family Relationships

Civil Status: Unmarried
  • Mother: Siri Maria Ekedahl, född Andersson
  • Father: Per Emil Otto Ekedahl
  • Brother: Per Johan Ekedahl
more ...


  • Folkskola, Växjö
  • Självstudier, Stockholm: Självstudier i juridik


  • Profession: Sekreterare, biträdande jurist, Eva Andéns advokatbyrå


  • Relative: Elin Wägner, kusin
  • Friend: Selma Lagerlöf
  • Friend: Hjalmar Gullberg
  • Friend: Ivar Harrie


  • Landsföreningen för kvinnans politiska rösträtt (LKPR)


  • Birthplace: Växjö
  • Växjö
  • Danderyd
  • Place of death: Danderyd