Exploring girls' education and Vodoun in Bopa, Benin

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Cave-Lewis, Brett L.
thesis / dissertation description
The idea of educating girls in the global south has been a hot button topic since 1995, when the United Nations (UN) introduced it as a foremost initiative to address various issues women faced in the developing world. Although there are different schools regarding the pedagogy of education, there appears to be a concerted effort in the non-governmental organization (NGO) and government agency communities through which girls' education programs are being introduced. With the influx of education programs, projects and initiatives geared towards girls in rural communities, questions are raised regarding the impact of these programs on the fundamental, cultural integrity of the communities they serve---communities where legacies of tradition, culture and traditional religion tend to remain intact more than they do in the city. As educational development continues, the importance of examining essential social components in communities is key to program sustainability. This paper will take a closer look at the relationship between the introduction of a formal girls' education program in Bopa , Benin as well as the effect such programming has on the larger community and their traditional belief system: Vodoun.