Girls’ Education in Armed Conflict



Half of the world’s out-of-school children live in conflict-affected countries: over 55% of them are girls. This event will focus on the often0 overlooked issue of girls’ education. The panel will discuss the importance of education in managing conflict and the role the Canadian government and the international community can play in helping girls in conflict zones realize their right to education.

This event was inspired by the increase in girls’ school enrolment in Afghanistan due to the international attention garnered because of the prolonged conflict in the country. The panel features speakers from Plan International Canada, UNICEF, and War Child Canada.

When: August 30, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm

Where: Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto


Dianne Denton is an Education Advisor with Plan International Canada, where she provides technical support on education projects in South Sudan, Egypt, Mozambique and Burkina Faso. Prior to joining Plan, she spent almost three years in Afghanistan working with UNESCO and the German Development Cooperation (GIC) on girls’ education, and technical and vocational education programs. She has also lived and worked in Nunavut and Tanzania. Dianne holds a Master’s of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University.

Eleanor Hevey is the International Policy Specialist with UNICEF Canada. She supported strategic policy advocacy efforts to protect and advance the rights of children outside of Canada who are touched by Canadian government and corporate activities. Prior to joining UNICEF Canada, Eleanor spent ten years working in human rights and humanitarian focused policy and strategic communications with the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health, the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. Eleanor has significant experience in high-level advocacy, at the national level in the United Kingdom and Canada, and at the international level with the European Union and the United Nations. She holds a first degree in International Development from the University of East Anglia, and is currently studying towards a Master’s degree in Sustainability at Harvard University.

Nikki Whaites has been working in the non-profit world for over 15 years. She has a BA in Communications and a MSc in Rural Extension Studies from the University of Guelph examining the role of media and communication in international aid and development. Her current focus is on working with children and youth in war-torn and conflict affected countries. She oversees programming on food security, livelihoods, child protection, education and access to legal justice.

Nikki’s main focus over the past several years has been on non-profit management and policy work. She has designed and managed programming with DFATD/GAC, UNDEF, DFID-UK, USAID, UNICEF, and the US Department of State, amongst others. Her work has taken her to dozens of countries including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Iraq, South Sudan, Bangladesh and Haiti.


Rachel Pulfer has managed media development projects in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to joining JHR, Rachel was a Canadian Journalism Fellow at Massey College, and a magazine journalist of 10 years’ standing. She was the U.S. correspondent, editorial board member, and columnist for Canadian Business – Canada’s national business news magazine. Rachel has previously held positions at Investment Executive Magazine, the Montreal Gazette, and Azure magazine, and her journalism has appeared in The Walrus, Toronto Life, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen and Maclean’s Magazine.

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About NATO Association of Canada

The NATO Association of Canada strives to educate and engage Canadians about NATO and NATO’s goal of peace, prosperity, and security. The NATO Association of Canada ensures that we have an informed citizenry able to contribute to discussions about Canada’s role on the world stage.