Gender, Education and Poverty

The politics of policy implementation

By Elaine Unterhalter, Jenni Karlsson, Amy North

© 2015 – Routledge

224 pages

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Hardback: 9780415823449
pub: 2016-12-15
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About the Book

Throughout the 1990s an ambitious global process of policy making was associated with the work of UN agencies which believed that global co-ordination and connection was key to dealing with a range of pressing challenges. Gender inequality in education and poverty reduction featured prominently in these concerns and in attendant policy. As 2010 approached and commentators could look back at ten years of the MDG process, a large number of studies were published assessing the successes or difficulties with this framework. However few looked at how it had been interpreted in particular national and sub-national contexts or how staff in different organisations operating at a global level viewed this approach.

This book contributes to filling the gap in the empirical literature. Drawing on case-study research that examined initiatives which engaged with global aspirations to advance gender equality in and through schooling in contexts of poverty in Kenya and South Africa, it looks at how global frameworks on gender, education and poverty are interpreted in local settings and the politics of implementation. It thus sets discussion of the form of global agreements in a particular context, which allows for an appraisal of how they have been understood by the people who implement them. In using an innovative approach to comparative cross country research it illuminates how ideas and actions connect and disconnect around particular meanings of poverty, education and gender in large systems and different settings. Its conclusions will allow assessments of the approach to the post-2015 agenda to be made taking account of how policy and practice relating to global social justice are negotiated, sometimes negated, the forms in which they are affirmed and the actions that might help enhance them.

This book will be valuable for students , researchers, academics, senior teachers, senior government and inter-government officials and senior staff in NGOs working in the field of education and international development, gender, poverty reduction, and social development. It should be of particular interest to students and academics studying and researching in education, economics, international relations, social policy, African area studies, Development Studies, Women’s Studies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 Global frameworks and national contexts: Kenya and South Africa

Chapter 3 – Elusive connections: Intersection, mainstreaming and local negotiation

Chapter 4 – The challenge of comparative case studies as a research method

Chapter 5 – Negotiating meanings of gender: how and why does it generally come to mean girls

Chapter 6 The policy led and the practice led approach to ‘doing gender’ in education and poverty reduction

Chapter 7 – Blaming the poor for limited achievements on gender equality

Chapter 8 – Gender, poverty and education: Limited institutionalisation, fragile interactions

Chapter 9 – The MDGs as a kind of glue for fragmented gender policy

About the Authors

Elaine Unterhalter is Professor of Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, London, UK

Jenni Karlsson is Professor of Education, leadership, Management and Policy at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

Amy North works in the Faculty of Policy and Society at the Institute of Education, London, UK

About the Series

Education, Poverty and International Development

This series of research-based monographs and edited collections provides new analyses of the relationships between education, poverty and international development. The series offers important theoretical and methodological frameworks for the study of developing-country education systems, in the context of national cultures and ambitious global agendas. It aims to identify the key policy challenges associated with addressing social inequalities, uneven social and economic development and the opportunities to promote democratic and effective educational change.

The series brings together researchers from the fields of anthropology, economics, development studies, educational studies, politics international relations and sociology. It represents a unique opportunity to publish work by some of the most distinguished writers in the fields of education and development along with that of new authors working on important empirical projects. The series contributes important insights on the linkages between education and society based on inter-disciplinary, international and national studies.

Sharp, critical and innovative studies are sought that are likely to have a strategic influence upon the thinking of academics and policy-makers. They may include critical syntheses of existing research and policy, innovative research methodologies, and in-depth evaluations of major policy developments. Some studies will address topics relevant to poverty alleviation, national and international policy-making and aid, whilst others may represent anthropological or sociological investigations on how education works or does not work within local communities, for households living in poverty or for particular socially marginalised groups. Preference will be given to studies with a comparative international approach although some single-country studies will be considered, where they raise interesting theoretical and policy issues with clear relevance for international audiences.




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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Comparative