Announcing New Gender Research on K-12 Textbooks and Equal Educational Opportunities

CGDS is happy to announce the availability of new data on gendered representations in school textbooks in the Kurdish curriculum, with a comparison to the Iraq curriculum. The research includes public primary school curricula, from the first grade to the sixth grade. Mr. Mohaned Mahdi, who earned his teaching degree from the Teachers Training Institute, and currently teaches at Ali Mirdan Primary School, completed an analysis of the frequency of male and female appearances in the curriculum textbooks, measuring the gender ratio in pictures, drawings, and paintings. Specifically, all image areas, from the front to the back cover of all books, were measured in centimetres.

Mr. Mohaned, who is currently completing his studies in the English Department at Kirkuk University, carried out the research because “the under-representation of women in school textbooks constitutes an important obstacle for girls and prevents them from playing professional and scientific roles.” He added that “the female characters are depicted in textbooks in recurring secondary roles, and all of this constitutes constraints imposed on their future and their job prospects. Males abound in images of presidents, kings, and politicians, while images of women are represented in the roles of cooking, childcare, and cleaning, which represents a hidden obstacle to gender equality.”

The reports, one in Kurdish and one in Arabic, strengthen and complement the CGDS study on textbooks, Years One through Nine, funded by the European Union and now available hereMr. Mohaned’s study, “Female representation in primary school textbooks in the Kurdistan RegionA study to measure the area of ​​female and male images in textbooks” is available in Arabic language here and in Kurdish language here.

Image description: We see a page from a textbook of a color illustration of a boy with yellow hair, green shirt, and blue trousers, along with some partially obscured dialogue. Above and alongside the illustration is a ruler, with the dimensions in centimeters of the illustration written in red font.