Gender Responsivity in a Junior High School Indonesian Language Textbook

  • Azizatuz Zahro


Gender becomes an important aspect for every society at all time since gender can be the source of injustice. Various efforts to ensure the gender equality and justice must be continuously conducted, one of them is through education. Gender-responsive education, one of them, can be taken by constructing gender responsive textbooks. Textbooks are not only oriented to achieve curriculum target cognitively. Education is a strategic field to foster positive values in social life, including gender equality and justice values. Fostering gender awareness through education is expected to be able to shape human beings who uphold democracy, enforce justice, and abolish discrimination, enforcing basic human rights, religious values, multicultural values, and diversity. Gender responsivity in textbook writing is reflected through the selected materials, used illustrations, developed learning activities, and language use. The 2013 curriculum textbooks are not mentioned explicitly to be developed with gender responsivity approach; however, in general, the book was developed to shape students’ character and for them to master scientific competencies. Based on the analysis results, there was no specific emphasis to prevent gender bias in textbooks. Besides, gender bias is still found in textbooks, particularly in material selection, the language used, illustration, and developed activities. These materials include stories which present gender inequality and the description of patriarchy daily life but considered as typical by society, including the author. Gender bias in language can originate from the presence of negative stereotyping or labeling to one of the sexes, male and female.The illustration in the textbook is often perceived as biasing gender.When an author of a book which tells about a family, then the typical illustration is an ideal family of a working father and a mother who does housework. One of the causes of gender bias in learning activities is the implication of a textbook is less considered by the book editors. The textbook authors do not give an operational direction on how an activity is done so that being bias or not of a learning activity depends on teacher’s responsivity. Therefore, it is important to emphasize that textbooks written with gender responsivity will be an effective way to foster gender awareness in each student’ personality.