Jacqueline Kirk, 1968-2008
Jackie Kirk, co-founder and co-editor of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal and an international champion for girls’ education was killed in an attack in Afghanistan on August 13. 2008, just as this inaugural issue of the journal was to go to press. She was visiting the region in her role as a children’s education consultant for the International Rescue Committee. Jackie and two other aid workers were killed by the Taliban in an ambush on their car as they were returning from a site where they were setting up schools for girls.
Jackie began working for the IRC in 2004, as one of the world’s few experts on education for children (and especially girls and young women) in conflict and post-conflict situations. By engaging with educators, aid agencies, institutions and governments and through her academic research, Jackie made visible the importance of creating a space for this often overlooked area. Jackie is known around the world as an advocate for the rights of girls and women. From the work that she did with immigrant girls in schools in Montreal, to taking the lead on organizing the “Over There and Over Here” conference on the voices of immigrant girls, to her work in Indonesia, the Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan, to her work with and for women teachers through her involvement with so many humanitarian aid organizations, Jackie has truly left a lasting mark on the world. It is hard to know where to start in acknowledging the huge gap left behind. Jackie’s boundless energy and creativity inspired us, and her positivity carried us through the unchartered waters of founding a publication. In being part of the team preparing this inaugural issue ready for publication, Jackie listened to every voice and took each concern seriously. Jackie was particularly committed to studying and improving the lives of girls – and most critically, to bringing in the voices of girls and women to policy dialogues. Although as a team we started discussing the possibility for a journal of Girlhood Studies as early as 2001, there truly would be no Girlhood Studies journal if not for Jackie’s passion and dedication. The most fitting tribute is of course to see that our collective mandate for the journal — research, practice and creative work about, with, for and by girls — not only continues but continues to grow by the team, by the scholars and activists on the Editorial Board, by our present and future contributors, and by the readers of this journal. Our hearts are with her husband Andrew, her family, friends and colleagues.
— Claudia Mitchell, Jacqueline Reid-Walsh and Emily Barca, Editorial Team of Girlhood Studies
Volume 3, Issues 1 (2010) was a themed issue in honor of Jaqueline Kirk