A kitchen has always been associated with the weaker sex- women in a patriarchal society. For decades, students have grown up with textbooks showing an illustration of a woman or mother cooking food or doing household chores, and the man of the house either reading a newspaper or going to an office.
Not anymore! At least not in Maharashtra textbooks.
With an aim to promote gender equality, the state curriculum board of Maharashtra, Balbharati has made changes in their illustrations for class II textbooks. Not only it will send a strong message regarding gender identity and roles, but will also show women in a progressive light, mentioned the officials to PTI.
According to the report, the textbooks have powerful examples like- a man and woman are cleaning vegetables while sitting together, a woman as a traffic cop and a doctor. Also, other images show a male chef and a man ironing clothes- so that teachers can talk to young children about “social changes” in a simple yet powerful manner.
While talking to PTI, the director of Balbharti, Sunil Magar mentioned that the changes were made to stir a particular thought in students from a very young age that men and women are equal and both are capable to do any work. “We here at Balbharati give emphasis on experiments. While drafting the new textbooks, especially for the young ones, we need to see that the content in the textbooks is abreast with structures and changes in the society,” he said to the news agency.
The teacher’s fraternity has also supported this powerful move and one of the teachers mentioned how the revised edition of these textbooks will be beneficial for students from both urban and rural areas.
What’s your opinion about this new change in the textbooks? Should India replicate this in every other state?