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Communicating equality through policy documents: On legitimacy, double logic and stable translations

This article discusses gender mainstreaming (GMS) as a strategy to implement gender equality in public work organizations by analysing discourse in terms of the theoretical notions of translation and circulation in organizations to shed light on how gender equality and the mainstreaming strategy are formulated in the documents which govern the Swedish fire and rescue services. More specifically, it looks at how the goals regarding gender equality are circulated and translated. The results show that gender equality as a practice is created in the translation of national goals in terms of the local context and its specific gender equality challenges. Furthermore, the article discusses how vague formulations in the documents are stabilized through circulation between the government and the public agency in question. The results indicate the central role played by maintaining stable translations over time and the presence of a double logic of change in the processes, as well as the importance of legitimizing gender equality initiatives.

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