Commentary on gender equality in education as a global issue often assesses what makes policy work or why certain emphases in policy are selected. The article recasts this division by looking not so much at the separation between policy and its enactment, but at the forms of mobility entailed in the movement between these different poles. It delineates two forms of mobility, termed translation and transversal dialogue. A case study is presented looking at how the idea of gender equality in education moved from articulation as a normative idea in the capability approach of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, through practical application in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Human Development Reports, selective appropriation in the Millennium Development Goals, and interpretation by education officials in South Africa and Kenya. Analysis highlights the epistemic resources each form of mobility requires, pointing to different approaches to understanding context and dialogue and the different weightings each form of mobility gives to comparative judgements regarding action.
Unterhalter, E. Translations and transversal dialogues: an examination of mobilities associated with gender, education and global poverty reduction. Comparative Education (2009) 45 (3) 329-345. [DOI: 10.1080/03050060903184924]