Gender Representation in English Textbooks: A Study about Public Middle Schools in Punjab
This paper investigates gender representation in grade 6, 7 and 8 English textbooks used in public schools in Punjab. For a comprehensive analysis, both textual contents and pictures were analyzed using quantitative and qualitative techniques. The findings show that the female character were under-represented and misrepresented. Not even a single chapter was titled after any female character. Even in the text, they were heavily outnumbered, and generally shown in stereotypical and traditional roles. Shockingly, not even a single female character was portrayed positively. They were mostly shown in a neutral way. The same pattern was observed in the pictures. In spite of the fact that national education policies and curriculum frameworks emphasize heavily on gender parity, the textbooks appear to have failed to incorporate it. This study suggests that textbooks should contain gender parity and represent women in a respectful way so that the students may pick those values and inculcate them.