When we, as authors, first started writing the papers in this special issue, the competing and colluding forces of nationalism, misogyny, Islamophobia, Western elitism, inequality, and discourses of ethnic purity had not reached the force that they have as this issue goes to print. These papers were originally thought of as a way to give voice to counter-narratives that push against Western colonial norms and expectations around gender and education; they were meant to inform a conversation about women and education at American Educational Research Association. These themes still exist in the papers as the issue goes to print, but now the papers have taken on increased force and meaning as the authors have worked and reworked the papers within a context of a rising turn toward ethnic nationalism and misogyny. The papers argue for an understanding of policy and ideology that is based in a local context. The papers push against the idea that there is a “global context” for policy and ideology because—most often— “global policy” is a shorthand way of saying Westernized policy and expectations. Thus, the papers challenge the Western-centrism of a “global” lens. However, the authors also see their work as part of a conversation—a conversation that needs to be truly global. The polarities of global conversation and attention to local contexts have shaped the articles in this special issue.