This textbook on gender is as relevant inside a classroom as outside
GN Bureau | March 8, 2022
A World of Equals: A Textbook on Gender
Edited by Susie Tharu, A. Suneetha and Uma Maheswari Bhrugubanda
Orient BlackSwan, 170 pages, Rs 195
Equality is an ideal – celebrated in revolutions, enshrined in the Constitution – but the world is progressing slowly, if at all, in approximating it. Several fault lines crisscross the society, giving rise to different categories of inequalities: economic, caste, community and gender among others. The last, however, is crucial. There is a biological aspect to it which makes it central to every society, every culture down the ages.
In modern times, and especially in the last century or so, women are stepping out of their homes, taking their life in their own hands to an extent. But they still have to struggle against prejudices ingrained over the centuries. Persuading someone to challenge his or her unquestioningly held opinions, making them confront their lazy thinking is a very difficult task, as we realize in these polarized times. But as far as gender matters are concerned, parents, teachers and activists have a valuable resource in this textbook.
‘A World of Equals: A Textbook on Gender’ attempts to sensitise readers to gender and gender-related issues. It stresses equality rather than ‘women’s empowerment’, and hence devotes space to experiences of ‘being boy’ and ‘becoming man’ too.
The editors – Susie Tharu, a founder-member of Anveshi, Hyderabad, A. Suneetha, Senior Fellow at Anveshi, and Uma Maheswari Bhrugubanda, who teaches at the EFL University, Hyderabad and is associated with Anveshi – cover the whole gamut in fifteen units: expanding from gender to inequalities of race, religious affiliation, class, caste, disability and the sexual spectrum.
To know Susie Tharu better: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susie_Tharu
More on Anveshi: https://www.anveshi.org.in/
While intended for use in a coursework, it is not what you’d expect of a textbook – it is lively. Its friendly tone invites the reader to join a discussion rather than sit through a lecture. It also helps that the text is peppered with examples drawn from popular literature, films and advertisements. It is interactive too, accompanied by an app that provides links to resources mentioned in the text.
For structured courses in schools and colleges, ‘A World of Equals’ would be a part of recommending reading, but it is far more useful elsewhere: at the dinner table, in community meeting. Ideally, parents should sit with young adults and explore together one unit at a time. More ideally, other kinds of inequalities too should be taken up in similarly produced ‘textbooks’.
This time it was not Lord Hanuman, but the poor decision-making of the political leaders combined with several global economic factors that set Sri Lanka in flames. A state of emergency was declared in Sri Lanka. This month, after the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka resigned from his post, the
Being and Becoming Multilingual: Some Narratives Edited by Rajesh Sachdeva and Rama Kant Agnihotri
The BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has rejected the Congress accusations of financial irregularities worth Rs 8,000 crore—9,000 croe in awarding contracts for getting project-affected people (PAP) tenements on private land. BMC has said that it implements vital p
Does the concept of sedition have a place in modern democracies? This question became more relevant when the apex court recently put the country`s colonial-era sedition law on abeyance stating that there is a “requirement to balance… security interests and integrity of the State… and th
The Collected Stories of Saadat Hasan Manto: Volume 1: Bombay and Poona Translated by Nasreen Rehman Aleph Book Company, 548 pages, Rs 999 There are writers, there are writers’ writers, and then there are readers’ writers. Saadat Hasan Mant
Meet Promila Krishna, 39, Lalita Nayak, 40, Parbati Gadba, 42, Sanadei Dhuruwa, 39, and Nabita Barika, 41, of Kundra block in Odisha’s Koraput district. Except for Promila who is a matriculate, others haven’t attended school beyond the elementary level. However, while introducing themselves to