Nationwide school closures in response to the pandemic have disrupted the education of children and young people around the world. Marginalised girls are likely to be the most affected by these closures, and many may never return to school. As well as curtailing their future prospects, this puts them at increased risk of sexual exploitation, child marriage and adolescent pregnancy.
We know that girls and women – particularly amongst the poorest and socially marginalised groups – will likely be most affected by the pandemic. We need to work together as a partnership to make sure that girls at risk of child marriage and married girls don’t get left behind. That’s why we’re compiling regular roundups of resources that may be useful to Girls Not Brides member organisations at this difficult time. These are linked in this series of blogs, and a selection can also be found in our Resource Centre. We have already shared resources relating to gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights and economic impacts, and this week we focus on COVID-19 and girls’ education.
COVID-19 impact on education, UNESCO
This UNESCO webpage has a regularly updated map of countries that have partially or completely closed their education systems, including the number of children affected. The website also has a series of COVID-19 education response issue notes on topics including conflict-affected displaced and vulnerable populations, school reopening and addressing the gender dimensions of school closures. The notes share evidence of good practice, practical tips and references for each topic.
Malala Fund estimates that 10 million more secondary school age girls could be out of school after the COVID-19 crisis has passed. This report uses insights from the 2014-15 Ebola epidemic and the 2008 global financial crisis to understand the consequences of COVID-19 for girls. It includes recommendations for governments and international institutions to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and help girls return to school.
Covid-19 school closures around the world will hit girls hardest, UNESCO and Plan International
This blog highlights the disproportionate impact of school closures on girls around the world, drawing on lessons from the Ebola crisis. It calls for governments to protect progress made on girls' right to education by focusing on leveraging teachers and communities, adopting appropriate distance learning practices, considering the gender digital divide, safeguarding vital services, engaging young people and ensuring that girls return to school.
This document provides guidance for those working on education to engage with governments and guide advocacy messaging to ensure that education is kept high on their agenda. It highlights the need for increased sustainable financing of public services through debt relief and progressive domestic resource mobilisation.
A common messaging framework and social media toolkit intended to foster dialogue and raise attention to the gendered impacts of COVID-19, advocate for strategies to respond to the gendered dimensions of the crisis and look ahead to the safe reopening of schools.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) resource hub, Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies
INEE have put together a series of practical and technical resources for practitioners working on education in already complex and challenging contexts affected by COVID-19. Resources are available in Spanish, French, Portuguese and Arabic.
In the time it has taken to read this article 35 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 3 seconds