Main Article Content


This study was carried out to understand gender stereotype in the curriculum framework and textbooks which form the main curricular materials in schools in Bhutan. The curriculum framework for Accountancy, Economics, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History and English were reviewed by the researchers. Except for science curriculum framework which states that science curriculum should be gender-sensitive in terms of materials used, language used and ensuring the equal participation of boys and girls in activities, other frameworks were all silent on gender. Textbook reviews were carried out by teachers (22 female and 54 male) teaching classes IX to XII in the form of clustered workshops using the Blumberg model of textbook analysis which was employed to analyse gender biases in Vietnamese primary school textbooks. The findings revealed a presence of imbalance of gender among the authors, reviewers, editors and designer as well as the presence of gender biases, gender stereotyping in the content, illustrations and student activity. It calls for curriculum developers and textbooks authors to integrate gender in the curriculum framework which will then guide the development of gender-sensitive textbooks.


Secondary education gender sensitivity stereotypes curriculum textbooks

Article Details

How to Cite
Dorji, T. (2021). Gender Sensitivity in Textbooks in Secondary Education in Bhutan. International Journal of Asian Education, 2(3), 343–355.


  1. Aksornkool, N. (1997). Gender-Sensitive Education for a Better World. Background Document. Paris, France: UNESCO.
  2. BCSEA. (2013). A Study of Student Achievement in English Literacy and Mathematics Literacy in Class X. National Education Assessment Technical Report 2013-2014. Thimphu, Bhutan: BCSEA.
  3. BCSEA. (2019). Education in Bhutan: Findings from Bhutan's experience in PISA for Development. Thimphu, Bhutan: National Project Centre, Bhutan Council for School Examinations and Assessment.
  4. BCSEA. (2019). Launch of Bhutan PISA-D National Report. Thimphu, Bhutan: BCSEA.
  5. BCSEA. (2014). Pupil Performance Report 2014, 2017. Thimphu, Bhutan: BCSEA.
  6. Buchmann, C., DiPrete, T. A., & MCDaniel, A. (2008). Gender Inequalities in Education. Annual Review of Sociology, 34, 319-337. DOI: https://10.1146/annurev.soc.34.040507.134719
  7. Blumberg, R.L. (2007). Gender bias in textbooks: A hidden obstacle on the road to gender equality in education. Vietnam: UNESCO Ha Noi Office.
  8. CAPSD. (2005). Mathematics Curriculum Framework for Classes PP-XII. Paro, Bhutan: CAPSD.
  9. DCRD. (2005). English Curriculum Framework Class PP-XII. Paro, Bhutan: DCRD.
  10. Dorji, T. (2020). Gender Responsive Pedagogy Awareness and Practices: A Case Study of a Higher Secondary School under Thimphu Thromde, Bhutan. International Journal of Linguistics and Translation Studies, 1(2), 100-111.
  11. Dorji, T. (2017). Gender Gap in the Constituent Colleges of the Royal University of Bhutan- Reasons and Implications for Gender Equality. RABSEL the CERD Educational Journal, 18(2), 61-82.
  12. FAWE. (2005). Gender Responsive Pedagogy: A Teacher's Handbook. Nairobi, Kenya: FAWE.
  13. Glasser, H.M., & Smith III, JP (2008). On the Vague Meaning of "Gender" in Education Research: The Problem, Its Sources, and Recommendations for Practice. Educational Researcher, 37 (6), 343-350.
  14. GNHC. (2019). Twelfth Five Year Plan 2018-2023: Just, Harmonious and Sustainable Society through Enhanced Decentralization. Thimphu, Bhutan: GNHC.
  15. GNHC. (2007). National Plan of Action for Gender 2008-2013. Thimphu, Bhutan: GNHC.
  16. Hey, B. (2010). Guidelines on Gender Fair Curriculum Development. Graz, Austria: WUS Austria.
  17. MoE. (2014). Bhutan Education Blueprint 2014 – 2024: Rethinking Education. Thimphu, Bhutan: MoE.
  18. MoE. (2014). Annual education statistics 2014. Thimphu, Bhutan: MoE.
  19. MoE. (2019). Annual education statistics 2019. Thimphu, Bhutan: MoE.
  20. MOET. (2010). Guidelines for textbook review and analysis from a gender perspective. Vietnam: UNESCO Ha Noi Office.
  21. National Statistics Bureau of Bhutan. (2012). Bhutan Living Standards Survey 2012 Report. Thimphu, Bhutan: National Statistics Bureau of Bhutan.
  22. NSB. (2017). Population and Housing Census of Bhutan 2017. Thimphu, Bhutan: NSB.
  23. Pigozzj, M.Y. (2000). Girls' Education: Improving both Access and Quality. France: UNICEF.
  24. Reeves, H., & Baden, S. (2000). Gender and Development: Concepts and Definitions Prepared for the Department for International Development (DFID) for its gender mainstreaming intranet resource. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex).
  25. REC. (2012). Science Curriculum Framework PP-XII. Paro, Bhutan: REC.
  26. REC. (2016). National School Curriculum Conference 2016: Rethinking Curriculum Report. Paro, Bhutan: REC.
  27. REC. (2018). Royal Education Council Operational Framework. Paro, Bhutan: REC.
  28. REC. (2018). Accountancy Curriculum Framework. Paro, Bhutan: REC.
  29. REC. (2018). Economics Curriculum Framework IX-XII. Paro, Bhutan: REC.
  30. REC. (2018). Geography Curriculum Framework Class PP-XII. Paro, Bhutan: REC.
  31. REC. (2019). Introductory Economics: A Couse Book for Class X. Paro, Bhutan: REC.
  32. Rinzin, Y.C. (2019, April 1). Students learning without understanding. Kuensel. Retrieved from
  33. Saleem, F., & Zubair, S. (2013). (Under) Representing women in Curricula: a content analysis of Urdu and English Textbooks at the primary level in Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Women's Studies, 20(1), 57-71.
  34. Samdrup, R. (2009). Glass ceiling in the educational curve for girls: Assessing girls' participation in education at higher secondary level in Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan: MoE.
  35. Sonam, P. (2019, April 17). Top performing schools in 2018. BBS. Retrieved from
  36. Srivastava, G. (n.d). Gender Concerns in Education. New Delhi, India: NCERT.
  37. United Nations. (1995). Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Report of the Fourth World Conference in Women in Beijing, China.
  38. UNESCO. (2015). A Guide for Gender Equality in Teacher Education Policy and Practices. Retrieved from
  39. UNDP. (2003). Human Development Report 2003: Millennium Development Goals: A Compact among nations to end human poverty. New York, USA: UNDP.
  40. UNDP. (2016). Human Development Report 2016: Human Development for Everyone. New York, USA: UNDP.
  41. UNESCO. (2000). World Education Forum-Framework for Action. Dakar, Senegal: UNESCO.
  42. UNESCO. (2004). Gender Sensitivity: A training manual for sensitizing education managers, curriculum and material developers, and media professionals to gender concerns. France: UNESCO.
  43. UNESCO. (2005). Exploring and Understanding Gender in Education: A Qualitative Research Manual for Education Practitioners and Gender Focal Points. Bangkok, Thailand: UNESCO.
  44. UNESCO. (2009). Gender in Education Network in Asia-Pacific (GENIA) Toolkit: Promoting Gender Equality in Education. Bangkok, Thailand: UNESCO.
  45. UNESCO. (2014). Teaching and Learning: Achieving quality for all. France: UNESCO.
  46. UNICEF. (2017). Annual Report 2017 Gender Equality and Rights. Kathmandu, Nepal: UNICEF.
  47. World Bank. (2011). Gender equality and development. Retrieved from
  48. World Bank. (2012). World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development. Washington DC, USA: World Bank.