Wafa Khadra, researcher at the American University of Madaba, spoke about reforming education, changing gender-based stereotypes and attitudes towards gender equality.
Khadra said that she was in charge of a study on school curricula textbooks from a gender perspective, with a special focus on primary school curricula.
“We concluded from the research on early education school textbooks that women were in some occasions marginalised, excluded or taken out altogether,” Khadra told the gathering.
She also said that the language was “masculine” and that the role of women was “confined to stereotypical professions such as the teacher or the nurse and that, when it came to taking actions, men were seen as the ones doing the creative, difficult and heroic acts”.
“It is during primary education that children form their habits, convictions, beliefs, sentiments of exclusions or marginalisation, and these can eventually reflect on how they deal with religious and ethnic matters in the future,” Khadra explained.
That is why, she added, “we need to work on changing the current textbooks if we want to avoid any future religious or ethnic conflicts within our community”.