No More Gender Stereotypes in Maharashtra's School Textbooks! Balbharti to Feature Empowering Stories
Balbharti (Photo Credits: cart.ebalbharati, Pixabay)

Indian book publisher Balbharati's textbooks for Class II which are used for academic curriculum in schools have made some progressive changes. The Maharastra board's syllabus has taken off some of the stereotypical imagery from the books. Picturisation of a mother cooking in the kitchen and father reading a newspaper has been taken off school textbooks. Today's Class II school textbooks show men sharing household chores while women working at various organisations. No More Sexist Ads in UK! Advertising Standards Authority Bans Using Gender Stereotypes to Promote Products on TV.

Class I English textbook for non-English medium students have been containing images of gender stereotypes for over 10 years. According to a report in The Times of India, a chapter titled 'Nina's Dream' narrates the story of a girl who dreams of flying like birds and swimming like a fish. But her mother tells her, "Girls cannot do all these things."

Last month, the symbol of a woman with a saree pallu over her head was taken off all compartments. It is soon to be replaced with images of a woman in a formal suit. Western Railway had also said that the posters of women like badminton star Saina Nehwal, cricketer Maithali Raj and astronaut Kalpana Chawla will also be displayed inside the coaches.

Vibhuti Patel, chairperson and professor of Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, School of Development Studies said, "Many organisations, such as Population First and others have been conducting training on gender sensitisation in the classroom and for those writing textbooks. Women today are not perceiving themselves as homemakers. Their contribution to the economy has got highlighted."