I was going through the educational book Social and political life II for class 7 of CBSE. I was surprised by the implied contempt for the male sex in the Chapter 4 Growing up as Boys and Girls.
I strongly believe that any sort of information that can create mistrust for any group based on religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them should not be allowed in the book. As it is in contravention to the article 15(1) of the Indian constitution.
Following are the excerpts that I found objectionable.
- The above text highlighted in orange is leading the kid readers to believe that school boys generally gather to watch girls leaving after school. I don’t know of any school where this happens and this dangerous generalization should stop. It does nothing but plant seeds of division and hate between boys and girls.
2. The above text highlighted in red ignores the fact that children can have different choice of toys. Parents who have both boy and girl child have always found that girls usually prefer dolls over cars. But the textbook implies that the girls are forced to play with the dolls against their wish which is not the case in general. This text should be removed or deleted from the book.
The text talks of unpaid work of women but ignores the unpaid work + un-reimbursed contribution of men. The highlighted text in above image is biased, it ignores the fact that the work done at home is not continuously for 8 or more hours like factory, office setup etc. Women in the household get time to rest in between the household chores. The text also ignores the risk involved. A household chore can’t be compared to job in chemical manufacturing or mining. The text also ignores the extra effort a man has to put in to pay for domestic help that further reduces the workload of woman in the household.
The table considers only 40 hours of paid work per week for the men whereas 48 hours is the minimum work considering 6 days of 8 hour shift. Add 4 hours of unpaid work of men to it, the total becomes 52 hours. This total is similar to that considered for woman, and it is without the risk and stress involved.
The table ignores the fact that the man working on mine or chemical factory carries multi fold risk than a housewife. The table has also skipped considering the stress of target and long hours on men deputed in full time job vs. housewife.
It ignores that men do not get reimbursed for the monetary contribution they make towards the family, neither as monetary contributions from women nor as equivalent man hours considered while considering the unpaid work. Eg. For house wife if unpaid work is calculated at Rs. X per hour then the table calculation should divide the expenses done by the men but is not reimbursed by women as follows.
Unpaid hours of man = (Expenses of house rent or house EMI + expenses on food , clothing, lifestyle + other expenses on family) ÷ hourly rate for woman in Rs.
Without considering the overall scenario, the table can only mislead the child’s mind and needs to be corrected urgently.