Maureen Porter


Maureen Porter (University of Pittsburgh) 

Maureen Porter is an associate professor in social and comparative analysis of education; she teaches courses on the intersections of gender, education, and international development. She has worked in the Andes for a decade leading service-learning programs and conducting participatory ethnographic research on intergenerational cultural transmission and literacy. Porter previously worked on consulting programs with UNESCO, the World Bank, the Global Fund for Women, and at the Federal and Minnesota (State) Departments of Education. She holds a PhD in international education policy studies and an MA in cultural anthropology from Stanford University. 


Progress or Posturing?  Examining the discourse and praxis of the MDGs 

Three paradigms have shaped waves of MDG-driven reforms: “women in development,” “gender and development,” and “gender mainstreaming.” These paradigms offer fundamentally different definitions of the underlying causes of disparity, and hence they inform efforts to identify stakeholders, measure progress, and build public consensus about the importance of achieving specific MDGs. In this paper, I show how embedded discourses about the public, voice, agency, and culture have become both barriers and facilitators for sustainable, locally owned change. I provide a lens for assessing whether profound reform is occurring, thus refocusing the debate on gender-explicit approaches to framing human rights, social justice, and empowerment.

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