The Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) obtained support from the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) and builded a partnership with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Ball State University (BSU). Securing this competitive IREX grant put CGDS in an excellent position to develop continuing international programs.

Founded in 1918, BSU is located in Indiana, USA. It hosts major and minor programs in Women’s and Gender Studies. The programs address issues affecting women and other marginalized communities based on sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, geography, disability, and religion.

BSU has extensive experience working with universities and other learning institutions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, Jordan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Central America, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The main goal of the IREX supported partnership was to share best practices, teaching methodologies, and materials that would enhance the educational experience for students in both universities. CGDS developed a program specifically designed for activists in the field of gender equality and an MA program in gender studies.