'Mum cooks, Dad works': Italian school textbook triggers outrage

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
'Mum cooks, Dad works': Italian school textbook triggers outrage
Photo: Facebook

Mum cooks and irons while dad works or reads, according to a textbook being used in Italian schools.


The textbook, given to second grade children in Italian elementary schools, has caused uproar on social media after one Facebook user shared a photo of an Italian language grammar exercise in her friend's daughter's schoolbook.

"I don't beieve this. Second grade textbook," wrote Facebook user Stefania Bariatti, who shared the image.

"Delete the verb that doesn't fit." the exercise instructs, before giving the following options:

"La mamma cucina/stira/tramonta" (Mum cooks/irons/sets)

"Il papa lavora/legge/gracida" (Dad works/reads/croaks)

The grammatically correct sentences were far from politically correct, as angry Italian Facebook users quickly pointed out after the photo was shared widely online.

Comments described the text as "surreal" and "like something from the middle ages." 

READ ALSO: Italy's gender gap is getting a whole lot worse

Recently another Italian schoolbook was criticised for including a childrens' song with the lyrics: "Mother washes, irons and cooks while humming a little tune. Father instead plays football and smokes a pipe with grandfather Gastone."

Sexist stereotyping is "rife" in school textbooks around the world, according to a report from Unesco.

The 2016 report on how negative stereotyping undermines the education of girls said too often female figures are represented in textbooks as "nurturing drudges" in domestic roles.

This is a "hidden obstacle" to gender equality, Unesco said.

READ ALSO: 'What does sexist mean?': What Italy Googled most in 2018 


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