Keynote Speaker 2016

Sally Armstrong


We are delighted to have Sally Armstrong as our speaker for this year’s event.


Human rights activist, journalist and award-winning author Sally Armstrong has covered stories about women and girls in zones of conflict all over the world. From Bosnia and Somalia to the Middle East, Rwanda, Congo and Afghanistan, her eyewitness reports have earned her awards including the Gold Award from the National Magazine Awards Foundation and the Author’s Award from the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters. She received the Amnesty International Media Award in 2000, 2002 and again in 2011.
She was a member of the International Women’s Commission, a UN body, made up of 20 Palestinian women, 20 Israeli women, and 12 women from other nations whose mandate is assisting with the path to peace in the Middle East.


In 1996, the YWCA of Toronto honoured Sally by awarding her the prestigious Women of Distinction Award in Communications. She received the Achievement Award for Human Rights for Women from Jewish Women International in 1997, Media Watch’s Dodi Robb Award in 1998, and, in 2003, the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement from the National Magazine Awards Foundation. In 2005, she received the Athena International Award (Chicago), the World of Difference Award from the International Alliance for Women (Florida) and the Red Cross Humanitarian Award – New Brunswick Region. In 2008 she received the Clarkson Laureate for public service at Massey College, University of Toronto. And in May 2008, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation. In March 2010, she became the fourth recipient of The Calgary Peace Prize.
She is the recipient of eight honorary doctorate degrees and is a Member of the Order of Canada.


Her book Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan was published by Penguin Books in 2002. The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor was published by Random House in 2007. Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: the Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan’s Women was published by Penguin in 2008. Her new book Ascent of Women: Our Turn, our Way – A Remarkable Story of World-Wide Change was published by Random House in March 2013. A revised version called Ascent of Women: A New Age is Dawning for Every Mother’s Daughter. was published in March 2014 by St. Martin’s Press of New York.