Resource: Girls’ Education and COVID-19

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Malala Fund, Girls’ Education and COVID-19: What Past Shocks Can Teach Us about Mitigating the Impact of Pandemics, 2020: Washington D.C.

Excerpt: ‘This paper uses insights from previous health and financial shocks to understand how the current global pandemic could affect girls’ education outcomes for years to come. It details how governments and international institutions can mitigate the immediate and longer-term effects of the pandemic on the most marginalised girls. The paper considers the 2014- 15 Ebola epidemic and the 2008 global financial crisis, which both have some parallels to the impact of COVID-19.

We find that marginalised girls are more at risk than boys of dropping out of school altogether following school closures and that women and girls are more vulnerable to the worst effects of the current pandemic. Drawing on data from the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, we estimate that approximately 10 million more secondary school-aged girls could be out of school after the crisis has passed, if dropouts increase by the same rate. Longer-term, poorer countries may struggle to provide sufficient financing for education, especially to support schools, teachers and students to fight reemergence of the virus and stay safe from indirect effects of further outbreaks.‘ (p.2)

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