Through this press release, Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) expresses concern about the content that maintain gender inequalities in textbooks used in schools.
In the fifth grade book “Njeriu dhe Natyra” (Human and Nature), the authors ask students why women who expose their waist risk being sterile? This sentence, which has been reported in the media for three years now, needs to be reviewed and changed urgently.
In many textbooks we encounter sentences like “Mother does the housework”, these are not just an omission. Even if not acted upon immediately, an educational system like this only increases gender inequalities and discrimination, which is already quite worrying and one of the biggest challenges we face today as a society, organization and institutions.
Furthermore, we recall that, in September this year, the Assembly of Kosovo approved the inclusion of the Istanbul Convention in the Constitution of Kosovo. Article 14 of this Convention, regarding education, specifies that parties shall take the necessary steps to include teaching material on issues such as equality between women and men, non‐stereotyped gender roles, mutual respect, non‐violent conflict resolution. This convention provides for the establishment of cooperation between educational institutions and the private sector in raising awareness among students, parents and teachers on this topic.
Improving curricula and textbooks from a gender perspective is part of KWN’s “Quality, Equal Eduation”, program, as one of the fundamentals for living in a society where women and men, girls and boys enjoy a life of equal, equal opportunities in education, employment, political participation, health care and a life free of violence.
Reminding that gender equality is vital for realization and protection of human rights, respect for the rule of law and democracy, KWN asks the Ministry of Education and Science in the recent open call for new textbooks and materials for all grades, improve texts like the one above and ensure gender mainstreaming.