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UWI and UNFPA launches Caribbean History Textbooks: a Gender Review

A recent Gender Review of several Caribbean History textbooks currently used in the CSEC / CXC Caribbean History syllabus has identified some disturbing trends that could weaken the struggle for gender equality and empowerment of women.
The Review was conducted by the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), Regional Coordinating Unit at UWI in collaboration with the Caribbean Kunuku Collective (CKC) and was led by Dr. Rita Pemberton, former Head of the Department of History at the UWI, St. Augustine Campus. It was designed to examine the extent to which History textbooks promote gender equality or replicate social inequality based on gender. The Review which involved an analysis of images, language and contexts presented in the textbooks found that the majority of textbooks exhibit an absence of women as historical subjects, persistent inequalities between men and women and that masculinity was often associated with positions of power while femininity was associated with docility.
The IGDS and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, which financed the Review will officially launch the findings on Monday, October 29, 2012 at 9:30am at the IGDS Regional Office located at the Sir Alister McIntyre Building at UWI, Mona.
It is hoped that the Launch will provide a forum for discussion about the ways in which issues of gender may be made visible in learning outcomes, as well as heighten the awareness of those involved in the writing and editing of textbooks to the subtle ways in which gender systems and gender inequalities are perpetuated.
The launch will be followed by a programme of training around issues of gender and education, facilitated by Dr. Dian McCallum of the Department of Educational Studies, UWI Mona, which is intended to sensitize stakeholders to the importance of gender in education and to develop practical strategies to mainstream gender into pedagogy, particularly as it relates to the use and development of text books.

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