The Intersection of Religion and Gender in Textbooks in the Baltic States




Several countries have implemented policies to safeguard gender equality. While education serves as a tool for societal transformation, the expectation that general education would inherently promote gender equality encounters challenges, particularly in the teaching of religion—a traditionally male-dominated field. This article delves into the examination of how textbooks in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania address gender representation within the realm of teaching religion. Although gender bias in textbooks has been scrutinized across various subjects, religious contents have received comparatively less attention. In Estonia, where religious education is limited, study focused on civics and citizenship education materials, while Lithuania examined religious and moral education textbooks. Latvia's analysis centered on Christian education materials. Employing abductive content analysis in all three countries, predetermined categories provided a framework, allowing some flexibility in the selection of textbooks. The results
of the analysis revealed consistent patterns across all three countries —male characters outnumbered females, portraying a predominantly masculine narrative concerning religious tradition. The textbooks reflected the historical male dominance in religion(s). The conclusion offers a discussion of potential solutions to address the identified issues, aiming to contribute to a more inclusive and gender-equitable educational landscape.




How to Cite

The Intersection of Religion and Gender in Textbooks in the Baltic States. (2024). Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe, 16(1), 93-112.