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A discursive exploration of gender in primary textbooks of English in Pakistan

Shazia Riaz Dar (Department of English, GIFT University, Gujranwala, Pakistan)
Sobia Bano (GIFT University, Gujranwala, Pakistan)

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development

ISSN: 2396-7404

Article publication date: 28 February 2023

Issue publication date: 13 March 2023




This study intends to unveil the imbalance in gender portrayal, reflected in English textbooks, used at the primary level in the four provinces of Pakistan.


Within the framework of feminist critical discourse analysis (FCDA), this paper aims to explore the ways in which gender stereotypes and ideologies are inculcated through the discursive schemes in the selected textbooks. The methodology adopted is to connect the linguistic features in the texts (the Micro) to the social factors (the Macro). The analysis has been done on two levels: on the first level, the content analysis was employed to quantify the gender representation in the textbook. On the second level, the discourse analysis was carried out to view gender stereotypes in the wide spectrum of social norms.


The results of this study reveal a significant disproportion and imbalance in gender representation in the four books. They clearly show that the textbooks in Pakistan contribute to the socialization of children in a very traditional and stereotypical way. The findings of the study recommend extensive awareness at societal level in general, and particular reforms in the education sector for a step toward a progressive and prosperous society.


The current paper is innovative as it demystifies how gendered ideologies are ingrained in the curriculum, used for English language teaching in a developing country like Pakistan. It fosters the value addition in existing research since it investigated the gender disparity systematically by employing quantitative content and qualitative FCDA.



Disclaimer: No possible conflict of interest was delineated by the authors.


Dar, S.R. and Bano, S. (2023), "A discursive exploration of gender in primary textbooks of English in Pakistan", International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 54-68.



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