Sunday December 16, 2018

Are Indian Textbooks inculcating Gender Stereotypes?

12th grade sociology textbook of Maharashtra State Board advocated that if a girl is ‘ugly’ or ‘handicapped’ then her family is liable to dowry

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New Delhi, Feb 10, 2017: Recently, a story on a social issue based story portal surfaced, which spoke about the plight of gender representation in state board textbooks. A 12th grade sociology textbook of Maharashtra State Board advocated about the reason behind the existential social evil called dowry.

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The reason mentioned in the book was that if a girl is ‘ugly’ or ‘handicapped’ then her family is liable to dowry. It evokes a rationale that the girl is required to pay a ‘penalty sum’ to qualify for marriage. Does this exhibit that India is still regressive and the sub continent is not receptive to positive social growth? Is India still conforming to centuries old stereotypes and pursuing not-so-effective strategies for escaping stereotypes that show women only capable of doing menial jobs?

So, what kind of ramifications do the textbooks conforming to the gender stereotypes have? The ramifications could be aggravation in economic and social gender disparity, in which women are stereotyped to be weak, meant for menial jobs and not possessing any technical prowess. Stereotyping is also responsible for aggravation in gender-based violence and crimes against women. It’s nefarious for men as well. For instance, a man responsible for fulfilling of household chores is often seen with contempt.

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The first time this issue came into the limelight was post 2016 Nirbhaya rape case when Justice Verma committee gave a recommendation to integrate gender equality in the curriculum for inculcating an egalitarian approach. PMO asked HRD ministry to reiterate on the inclusion of moral science and value education in schools. NCERT submitted a report that analysed and examined the number of stereotypical representations of genders. For instance, women were depicted in ‘caretaking’ roles such as nurses, teachers etc. and on other hand men were depicted as engineers, shopkeepers, surgeons etc. NCERT gave some recommendations like certain terms like ‘milkman’ and ‘policeman’ were to be made gender sensitive and ownership of anything should be jointly shown. For example, instead of “man owning a shop”, it should be framed “man/woman owning a shop.

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According to 2008 Education For All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (GMR), in India, more than half of the illustrations in Mathematics, Science and Social Science textbooks showed males, only 6 per cent of females were shown.

The educational policy makers had pledged in 1965 to eradicate all sorts of traditional concepts of female inferiority. Sadly, even after such a long span of time, no significant achievement has been accomplished to expel gender inequality from Indian society.

– prepared by Sabhyata Badhwar of NewsGram. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse

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Panasonic Unveils Mobile Computing Devices in India

The energy efficient device is built on the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform to ensure long-term Android support

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Panasonic launches mobile computing devices in India. Flickr

Japanese electronics major Panasonic on Thursday launched TOUGHBOOK FZ T1 and L1 mobile computing devices in India.

The TOUGHBOOK FZ T1 is durable, compact and comes with a 5-inch screen and runs Android 8.1 Oreo OS.

The device delivers fast, easy barcode scanning with an integrated barcode reader, the company said in a statement.

It is also designed with MIL-STD-810G standards and comes with IP66/68 rating.

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Panasonic. IANS

“Our newest offering under the product category further assists consumers with their enterprise based working environment by robustly assisting them to augment their efficiency levels through the TOUGHBOOK series,” said Vijay Wadhwan, Business Head System and Solution Business, Panasonic India.

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The FZ-L1 offers professional-grade capabilities and reliability to workers who rely on accessing information on-the-go.

The energy efficient device is built on the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform to ensure long-term Android support. (IANS)