Education and economic opportunities - Women's Agenda


We’ve launched this Girls & COVID-19 hub in partnership with Plan International Australia to highlight the plight of girls internationally, who stand to lose so much from the COVID-19 Pandemic. In times of crisis, it is often girls who face the greatest violation of their rights. They face a greater risk of gender-based violence, of having their education permanently stopped, of being married off early, and of being fed least and last. Research has shown that when girls are isolated at home rates of sexual violence, teenage pregnancy, trafficking and child labour increase dramatically. By standing with girls and empowering them to know their rights and lead, we can work towards a better, more equal world for all. Because a better now for her means a better future for everyone.

Girls & COVID

Education and economic opportunities

Schools continue to be shuttered in many of the world’s poorest countries. While COVID-19 has brought interruptions to all children’s learning, for girls this could mean a permanent end to their education. COVID-19 has meant 743 million girls are out of school. Parental pressure to help at home or earn an income means many adolescent girls may be unable to return to school even when their schools reopen. In some of the countries, school closures are not only impacting education but also access to school feeding programs, menstrual hygiene management, social support networks, and sexual and reproductive rights education delivered through school settings.

For young women who are employed, restrictions on movement have interrupted economic earning potential and might drive them to seek more exploitative work. A study by Plan International on the lessons learnt from the Ebola crisis found that 88% of adults and children said they faced economic hardships, with girls often forced into risky behaviour in order to put food on the table. This is why now more than ever, we need to ensure that children – especially girls – and their families are supported and prepared to deal with the social and economic impact of this virus.

We’ve partnered with Plan International Australia to publish these explainers on the impact of COVID-19 on girls internationally, for the Girls & COVID hub. You can donate direct to Plan today, to help support their efforts to create a post-COVID world where girls can take their rightful place as equals.