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Last January, CEHD entered into a "Research Partnership" agreement with the intnerational non-governmental organization CARE International (www.care.org). CEHD, along with its partner, Miske Witt, Incorporated (www.miskewitt.com), are supporting girls' education research in eight countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Malawi, Mali, and Tanzania). The project is led by Joan DeJaeghere (http://cehd.umn.edu/EdPA/People/DeJaeghere.html) and supported by faculty, administrators, and 12 talented graduate students from the College (all participate in research activities and will take part in site visits this year).

The project taps into two important dilemmas - access to, and quality of schooling. The first diliemma is that girls in many places in the world still do not have access to schooling. The disproportionate workload girls face (compared to their boy peers) often keeps girls from attending or benefitting from formal schooling. Some girls also lack access to schools because of safety issues (girls who must walk to school in remote areas may face harrassment from boys or older males).

When girls do get to school, quality is an issue. Some girls face discrimination in schools, others participate in curriculum that is irrelevant to their gendered experiences. Finally, at times girls face the same challenges as boys - pedagogy that reflects the practices of colonial practices (which, many argue, is no longer appropriate).

CARE is working in these countries to make a difference for the most margenalized girls in their communities. The underlying belief is that education is power, and power is one factor that may reduce margenalization (some would argue power - or lack thereof - is THE issue influencing margenalization). CEHD's role in this process is helping CARE to develop an evidence base that is applicable both within and across countries. The two and one-half year project is already underway. Site visits have taken place in all countries and CEHD and Miske Witt representatives (under the consortium name Minnesota International Development Education Consortium), just returned from a weeklong meeting in South Africa sponsored by CARE's Basic and Girls Education Unit. Questions about the project can be directed to the Principal Investigator Joan DeJaeghere (deja0003@umn.edu).