Title: Gender Bias in Learning Materials: A Comparative Study Between Mauritanian and Japanese English Textbooks
Stream: Language and Culture
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Malainine Ebnou, Kanazawa University, Japan
Many studies in recent years have been concerned with gender bias in schools and learning materials, and the influence they might have on students’ gender perceptions. The present study investigates gender bias in textbooks approved by the governments of Japan and Mauritania for use nationwide in both countries. It uses a quantitative, textual analysis of two criteria related to women visibility in textbooks: the number of presence of women in pictorial representations and the type as well as the number of activities they perform. The study tries to find out if there is bias in the representation of women in Mauritanian and Japanese textbook series, and then compare them to see which series represents women better in accordance with the goals for gender equality set by the respective governments of both countries. The findings of the study have revealed that there is male dominance in the textbook series of both countries. The gap is, however, greater in Mauritanian textbooks than in Japanese ones in which the gap is significantly smaller. The overall representation of women in Japanese textbooks has seen a substantial improvement in recent years, especially if compared to earlier studies such as that of Ishikawa (2012). The findings suggest that the Japanese government’s objective is on its correct course to while for Mauritania it falls short, and that there is a need for both countries to promote more equal portrayal in learning materials.
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