Towards a Gender Inclusive Curriculum in Zimbabwe’s Education System: Opportunities and Challenges

  • E Gudhlanga
  • C Chirimuuta
  • C Bhukuvhani


Gender disparities in every economic sector are not peculiar to Zimbabwe, but have long been standing anomalies worldwide. It is well documented that the reasons that have largely disadvantaged women stem from patriarchy, customary law and the colonial legacy that continue to short-change women. As a result women's emancipation and empowerment has become the focus of international programmes and conferences for purposes of integrating them into the development process on an equal basis with their male counterparts. Within the past three decades, the United Nations organized World Conferences on Women in Mexico City (in 1975), Copenhagen (in 1980), Nairobi (in 1985) and Beijing, China (in 1995). These moves have been complemented by calls to promote gender sensitivity in the school curriculum. This study therefore attempts to critic the gender responsiveness of the curriculum in Zimbabwe. Focus will be placed on the nature of the content of most textbooks, as well as other relevant teaching and learning materials that are used, to ascertain the gender sensitivity of the curricular. Central to the research would be the need to find out the extent to which prescribed history, literature and other textbooks in general have balanced the capturing of heroes and heroines in their content. Even when talking about nationalist movements in Africa the major question would be: Who are the leaders who receive the lime light among the men and women of fame who dominate the historical events? These and many other related queries will form the bottom line of this research attempt. For purposes of carrying out this research, text analysis of educational curriculum documents were carried out. In-depth interviews were used to compliment the data collected through discourse analysis of the educational curricula.

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eISSN: 1596-9231