Gender Representation in Primary Level English and Urdu Textbooks in Pakistan
Keywords:Gender, Discrimination, Equality, Stereotypes, Visibility, Activities, Textbooks
The representation of gender in school textbooks is an area that has been researched in different contexts for decades. It is an area worth investigation because it has been established through research that gender biased textbooks provide hurdles for gender equality in many ways. Taking this as a point of departure this paper aims to examine the representation of male and female in primary level English and Urdu textbooks in Pakistan. To achieve its aim three public and private publishers i.e. AFAQ, National Book Foundation (NBF) and Oxford University Press (OUF) were selected. The text and images in these textbooks were analyzed by using qualitative content analysis. The representation of gender in the selected textbooks was seen through three major themes i.e. visibility of female and male through characters, photographs and narrator of the lesson; activities assigned and vocabulary used for both gender. The data clearly reveals that the visibility of males was much higher than that of females in photographs, images, characters and narrators. Regarding activities assigned to gender in all the selected textbooks women were mostly depicted to be involved in housework and engaged in personal and family activities while boys were shown to be working, playing and engaged in social activities. Finally, it was found that the vocabulary used in the textbooks was stereotypical reflecting existing gender stereotypes in the Pakistani culture. To reduce the gender biased attitude in textbooks it is suggested that a strong gender lens is needed while setting educational policies in the country.
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Copyright (c) 2019 Rabia Ali, Laila Hussain
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