Gender Equality in and through Education in Nigeria: Gender Representation in Learning Materials


The study examines representations of males and females in learning materials - English Language textbooks for Junior Secondary Schools students in Nigeria. Seven highly recommended textbooks were studied - Practical English Book I, Practical English Book II, Intensive English Book I, Intensive English Book III, Project English Book I, II and III. Methods - Content and linguistic analysis of these texts were carried out in order to identify whether the representation of females and males are biased or fair i.e., whether there contain any perpetration of gender stereotypes (subordination); (ii) discrimination against females/males (invisibility); (iii) over and under representation of particular sex group (domination) and other forms of gender insensitiveness that might be inimical to achieving gender equality in and through education. Our general findings indicate discrimination against both males and female; however, females are largely discriminated against in forms of underrepresentation, invisibility, domination, subordination and perpetration of gender stereotypes that are inimical to their empowerment for national development and the achievement of the goals of gender equality. Based on these findings, the researcher calls on all stakeholders - researchers, teachers, authors, publishers, government representatives for (I) enlightenment programmes/forum on gender issues in learning materials and environment; (ii) formulation of government guidelines for the elimination of all forms of gender bias in students' learning materials (iii) elimination of gender biasness in learning environments and (iv) revision of learning materials that will promote and entrench gender fairness in the representation of females and males in the learning materials at the UBE Scheme level (Primary 1-6 to Junior Secondary 1-3) and beyond through the efforts of authors and publishers in conjunction with government agents' actions.