Malala Fund, Plan International, UNESCO, UNGEI and UNICEF have launched Building Back Equal: Girls Back to School Guide.
The guide aims to help policymakers and practitioners in Ministries of Education and their partners address the gender dimensions of COVID-related school closures.
It provides targeted recommendations to ensure continuity of learning while schools are closed, and to establish comprehensive, timely and evidence-based plans for reopening schools in a way that is safe, gender-responsive and child-friendly, and meets the needs of the most marginalised girls.
It emphasises an approach to ‘build back equal’ through gender-responsive measures that transform education systems, prioritise resilience, and address the key bottlenecks and barriers to girls’ education.
This guide was developed by partners in UNESCO’s COVID-19 Global Education Coalition’s Gender Flagship, as a part of a global campaign to be launched in September beginning to ensure all girls can continue to learn during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Gender Flagship provides a collaborative platform for stakeholders committed to gender equality, and girls’ and women’s empowerment in and through education.
— UNESCO (@UNESCO) August 25, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest disruption of education in history. Most governments around the world have temporarily closed schools and other learning spaces in recent months in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. At the peak of the pandemic in April 2020, these nationwide closures impacted more than 1.5 billion students, or over 90% of the world’s student population, from pre-primary to higher education in 200 countries.1This unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll back substantial gains made on girls’ education in recent decades, with broader immediate and longer-term effects on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty reduction, health and well-being, inclusive quality education and gender equality. The most marginalised, including girls with disabilities, those in conflict-affected contexts, remote and rural communities and those in the poorest quintile, are expected to be most affected by COVID-related school closures, facing additional constraints on their ability to fulfil their right to education, health and protection, among other rights. As some schools and educational institutions around the world have reopened and others are preparing to do so, governments, education sector officials, community leaders, teachers and school staff should see this as an opportunity to build back equal, through gender-responsive measures that transform education systems, prioritise resilience and address the key bottlenecks and barriers to girls’ education.
Check out the guide here: