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Statement by UNGEI on the deaths of aid workers in Afghanistan

NEW YORK, USA, 13 August 2008 - The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) is deeply saddened by the killing in Afghanistan of four aid workers, three women and their driver, from the International Rescue Committee (IRC).  We strongly condemn the attack on these committed individuals, who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the people in Afghanistan, especially children. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims at this difficult time.

One of the three women killed Dr. Jackie Kirk, was a close friend of UNGEI and deeply committed to girls’ education. Dr. Kirk was a technical specialist in education in emergencies, conflict and post-conflict and fragile states, with a particular focus on gender, and on teacher-related issues, including teacher training. She worked for IRC, providing technical assistance to country programs as well as working on global policy and program development projects.

Dr. Kirk was also a Research Associate and Consultant based at the McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women (MCRTW). Her research focuses on gender, education, conflict and peace, on gender dynamics of schooling in conflict, post-conflict and fragile state contexts, and on the promotion of gender equality in and through educational transformation. She was particularly interested in the use of alternative methodologies such as visual analysis for the study of and application to gender and education, and had recently finished a research project for UNGEI.

UNGEI mourns the loss of Dr. Kirk and her unwavering commitment to gender and education.


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