Wednesday November 20, 2019

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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Textbooks (Representational Image, Credits-, Wikimedia)

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

Next Story

Amazon Brings Plug-in Smart Speaker ‘Echo Flex’ in India

As a limited period offer, customers can avail a Wipro smart LED bulb (9W) worth Rs 2,099 for no additional cost on the purchase of every Echo Flex on Amazon.in

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Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

Amazon on Wednesday introduced the Echo Flex, a plug-in smart speaker that saves on space by plugging directly into a standard electrical outlet, in India.

Available for Rs 2,999 in online pre-order mode, Echo Flex also has a built-in USB-A port so you can easily charge your phone or other devices, all while using only one outlet, the company said in a statement.

“We are happy to introduce Echo Flex for users in India to access Alexa even more conveniently now from any room in the house,” said Parag Gupta, Head of Amazon Devices.

“With its compact form, Echo Flex can be plugged in directly into an electrical socket to provide all the functionalities of an Echo device,” he added.

Amazon
Alexa and Fire TV devices are constantly improving over time and now on Monday Amazon announced that a user can connect their Echo devices with their Fire TV. Pixabay

Echo Flex works with devices such as smart lights and plugs from brands including Philips, SYSKA LED, Oakter, TP-Link and more.

Just like other Echo devices, users can connect Echo Flex to preferred speakers using Bluetooth or a 3.5 mm audio cable for a higher audio output.

Also Read: Vodafone Battles Income Tax Department Seeking Refunds

Echo Flex is available for pre-order starting today and will ship next month.

As a limited period offer, customers can avail a Wipro smart LED bulb (9W) worth Rs 2,099 for no additional cost on the purchase of every Echo Flex on Amazon.in. (IANS)