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Abstract

Gender equality in access to education may be increasing, yet several studies have indicated that school textbooks tend to be gender biased. These studies have also concluded that there is an associated influence of school textbooks on children’s beliefs and values within such textbooks, which has the capacity to reinforce stereotypical roles for women and place a glass ceiling on their empowerment. This paper focuses on the reinforced stereotypical gender roles depicted in primary school textbooks in Egypt, which subconsciously affects girls’ self-esteem and stifles their empowerment. It provides a mixed method of analysis of the Egyptian centralized state school textbooks for grades 1 to 3, focusing on the Arabic language. Regardless of the field of study, Arabic is an obligatory course at all schools in Egypt.

Note on the Author

Dina Wafa, Founding Director, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy Executive Education and Adjunct Associate Professor of Management at the American University in Cairo. Her research interest and work has focused on governance, gender, youth and education. Her most recent publication is a co-edited and authored book: Corruption in a Global Context. She received the Talloires Network "University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa" and the Exceptional Women of Excellence award from the Women Economic Forum awards.

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