Women Depicted as Passive, Men as Virtuous in School Books

The Education Reform Initiative (ERG) has presented its Content of Education Report. Touching upon a series of issues, the report has shown that while women are depicted passive and mostly as mothers in school books, men are depicted virtuous.

The Education Reform Initiative (ERG) shared the results of its "Content of Education Report" with the public in a panel discussion today (October 1).

The report also marks the second file published by the Initiative as part of its five-file "Education Monitoring Report 2019". The first file entitled "Report on Governing and Financing Education" was released in May.

In the file of the report announced today, a series of issues are touched upon, including new secondary education design, occupational and technical training, assessment and evaluation, acquisition of skills in basic education, gender equality and creation of a democracy culture at schools.

While ERG Education Observatory Coordinator Burcu Meltem Arik and ERG Researcher Merve Mert presented the report, Assoc. Prof. Yelkin Diker Coskun from Yeditepe University and Dr. Atike Zeynep Kilic from the Association of Another School is Possible spoke at the panel.

'Discrimination cannot be reproduced at schools'

Taking the floor after ERG Researcher Merve Mert, Meltem Arik focussed especially on gender equality in education and underlined that ensuring gender equality at schools is an obligation of the state.

Indicating that important steps have been taken for access to education, Arik stressed that gender equality is deteriorating across the education.

Meltem Arik referred to dropping out of school as one of the risks posed by gender inequality and stated, "While girls want to drop out of school because their families do not want it or because of marriage, boys want to drop out because they have to work". She emphasized, "On no account can schools be a place where discrimination is reproduced".

'Women depicted as passive, men as virtuous'

Based on the study of Canan Aratemur Cimen and Dr. Sezen Bayhan, Arik also informed that when school books are approached from the perspective of gender equality, women are depicted as passive and mostly viewed as mothers while being "virtuous" is evaluated through men.

There is an essentialist attitude towards the national culture and traditions and customs are presented from a sexist point of view, Arik indicated further.

'Deterioration in gender equality'

Atike Zeynep Kilic also stressed the importance of works on gender equality within the context of children's rights and stated, "School is the most basic place where the child can bring himself or herself into existence outside family. Therefore, gender equality is a must within the space provided by the school to child to become free".

Underlining that backward steps have been taken in terms of gender equality in education, Kilic said, "We cannot collect meaningful data or get feedback from students about this issue. In fact, including children's opinions in the basis of monitoring works will pave important ways for us, who have assumed the responsibility of developing policies".

Source: English Bianet