Stereotyping gender roles: Gujarat textbooks and what they teach

Flying in the face of the state government's avowed development agenda for women,  state board textbooks in Gujarat continue to promote  stereotypical images of girls. An analysis has found the textbooks teeming with images of girls serving boys, playing domestic roles including sweeping the floor and accompanying their mothers to fetch water.

Gujarat Board textbooks promote gender bias despite the Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's development agenda for women. AFP.

Gujarat Board textbooks promote gender bias despite the Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's development agenda for women. AFP.

The Times of India reported:
"In the social science textbook, the GCERT admits only two women — Madam Bhikaji Cama and Vijaylakshmi Pandit. It is a 124-page book mapping the social reform movement and the freedom struggle. In the chapter ‘Independent India’, the first and longest-serving woman Prime Minister Indira Gandhi finds no place."

Chief Minister Narendra Modi may have been lauded for his development-oriented approach, but the state's sex ratio remains significantly lower than the national average of 940, it was reported earlier.

Meanwhile, the GCERT has stated its willingness to make necessary changes in the textbooks. History seen through a gender-sensitive lens is important for school curriculum, the principal secretary for primary education was quoted as saying.

Earlier, an analysis of NCERT textbooks for classes I to V had found that though they were authored by a panel comprising two males and 36 female members, and despite the fact that the books actually addressed issues of gender, several visuals toed stereotypical lines and power structures being questioned everyday.

 


Updated Date: Feb 25, 2014 11:19 AM

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