Semiotic Analysis of English Books of Punjab Textbook Board (Pakistan) with Gender Lens: Exploring the Gender Sensitization Level of Punjab Textbook Board Officers

Tahira Akbar, Ra’ana Malik

Semiotics is visual literacy which is an important aspect of learning process involving various social aspects of a society. Visuals are used dominantly in all books of early learners because it is considered the most efficient way of learning and teaching. Representation of gender through visual literacy is the most current and debatable social issue in the contemporary world. Though in Punjab Textbook Board, the text books of almost all subjects including English textbooks of all classes are supplemented with visuals. English is made a compulsory subject from class 1 till 10 and are always in lime light at international level.  But unfortunately this aspect of gender is being neglected in the English textbooks of Punjab, Pakistan. Interviews were conducted from the officers of textbook board to explore the level of sensitization regarding gender and its representation. These interviews revealed that they are unable to understand the true concept of gender due to which male and female are still presented in stereotypical ways. Through interviews it was seen that this inability of true understanding and representation of gender is due to the officials’ unawareness, cost constraints of management and social norms.

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