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Rabea Malik; Najaf Zahra; Ayesha Tahir (et al.)
For girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, education can be a ladder out of poverty and a way to break cycles of abuse and violence. Yet, there are still steep gender-related barriers to a quality and safe education such as gender-based violence, discrimination, child and forced marriage, lack of access to healthcare and menstrual hygiene products, unpaid domestic labour, and the prioritization of boys’ education. Even girls who do access education face a range of challenges, including poor quality facilities, large class sizes, and a lack of qualified female teachers and staff. For girls in fragile and conflict-affected areas, the threats can include kidnapping, injury, forced recruitment, and displacement. With the COVID-19 pandemic, those challenges have only increased. There are several stakeholders working to reduce these barriers and make sure that girls who must access their education in emergency situations can do so safely and effectively. They are also trying to make sure that the education available is of high quality and sensitive to their unique needs. In 2021, the Government of Canada supported a partnership with Equal Measures 2030 and its in-country partners FAWE and IPBF, based in Kenya and Burkina Faso, respectively, to look at how to strengthen the equitable and coordinated provision of education for girls and women in both countries. The result was research and advocacy that aimed to make the education systems of both countries more data-driven and gender-responsive. This report details the experiences, findings, and recommendations encapsulated in our work.
Kalifa Damani; Rebecca Daltry; Katy Jordan (et al.)
This article discusses the use of educational technology (EdTech) in girls’ education at PEAS schools (‘Promoting Education in African Schools’) in rural Uganda during the COVID-19-related school closures. This article addresses a research gap surrounding the potential use of EdTech to support girls’ education, focusing on the barriers to girls’ EdTech use and how technology might be used to enhance girls’ education in disadvantaged rural areas – specifically their academic learning and their social and emotional learning. A sequential, explanatory mixed-methods case study approach was used. Quantitative exploration of a dataset of 483 Ugandan students, from 28 PEAS schools, was first conducted, followed by interviews with PEAS staff to elucidate the reasons and context behind the findings.
School closures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have caused unprecedented disruption for nearly 1.6 billion learners across the globe. Beyond alarming effects on learning loss and school dropout, they pose an immediate and long-term threat to gender equality, with gender-specific effects on health, well-being and protection. This publication exposes these impacts and calls for effective strategies to ensure education continuity, promote gender equality and improve lives and futures. Through a review of published research, a global survey of actions taken by organizations in favour of gender equality in education, and in-depth data collection in five countries, UNESCO and its partners underline the challenges faced by children and young people to continue learning, and to return to school safely. When schools shut also showcases the efforts made by governments and the international community to mitigate harm and safeguard progress towards gender equality in and through education.
Shima Gadari; Jamileh Farokhzadian; Parvin Mangolian Shahrbabaki
Edem Dorothy Ossai
This policy brief highlights ways that a gender-responsive perspective can be fully incorporated into planning, policy design, and implementation models for education in emergencies (EiE) in Nigeria, so that governments and education stakeholders can ensure that girls, like boys, can continue learning in times of crisis. Girls’ education is historically vulnerable to crises, which has led to concerns that the school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic might reverse decades of advances in their schooling. The data discussed here were collected through qualitative research involving the Oyo State Ministry of Education, private-sector education partners of the government, broadcast stations, female and male upper secondary students, and members of community-based school governing boards and school management committees, as well as analysis of program content.
Imagine a room full of university students in India: young men and women sitting shoulder to shoulder in equal numbers. Fast forward 10 years: 8 out of those 10 men are likely to be active in the work force compared to only 3 out of 10 of the women. This example illustrates one of the great conundrums of India’s female labor force participation: a low and rapidly declining participation rate (even before the COVID-19 pandemic) despite economic growth and women’s increasing enrollment in tertiary education. This policy brief demonstrates how a digital mentoring policy and practice ecosystem could attract a range of stakeholders to support the transition of young Indian women from tertiary education into the labor force.
Sohela Mustari; Mehe Zebunnesa Rahman; Susmita Kar (et al.)
Sarah Blake; Miriam Temin; Tara Abularrage (et al.)
S. Amin; I. M.I. Hossain; S. Ainul (et al.)
Poor learning remains a central challenge in Bangladesh despite considerable progress in advancing schooling access and reducing gender gaps in education. The learning crisis is feared to have been exacerbated during extended school closures and limited alternative opportunities for schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. This brief summarizes findings on learning loss among adolescent girls during the pandemic in rural Bangladesh.
Covid-19 has had an enormous impact on education at every level all over the world. In many East and Southern African countries, the experience of the pandemic followed the effects of measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 severely effecting Africa’s education system. African countries dealt with the pandemic and are working to mitigate its effect on their education systems. This report, and the study findings behind it, provides a unique insight into the perspectives of girls, education actors and experts regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on education in five countries of Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda. It recognizes that the continued closure of schools has exposed millions of young women and adolescent girls to increasing protection risks and severely threatens their futures are girls out of schools are less likely to resume.
Every child deserves to reach her or his full potential wherever they live. Yet, achieving positive child well-being outcomes remains a challenge globally. COVID-19 has further exacerbated children’s existing vulnerabilities and amplified inequalities, especially in fragile contexts. As part of its mandate to help the most vulnerable children achieve their full potential, World Vision focuses on child well-being programmes that aim to improve key child well-being outcomes. Ten years of conflict in Syria have aggravated gender inequalities and the risks of violence for women and girls inside and outside the country. To increase the focus on gender-responsive programmes that respond to the strategic needs of women, World Vision (WV) Syria Response conducted a piece of research that aimed to better understand the connection between Syrian mothers’ and children’s well-being and identify impactful approaches that effectively address both. Specifically, the research explored women’s empowerment and children’s well-being factors in Syria and selected host countries. It looked at how women’s socio-demographic factors and empowerment components influence physical, emotional, mental, and psycho-social child well-being. A cross-sectional observation methodology was developed using convenience sampling in Northwest Syria (NWS) and Government of Syria (GoS) areas, Jordan, and Turkey. The research targeted World Vision’s beneficiary children living in structured families and their mothers. The survey results were complemented key informant interviews (KIIs) with mothers and their children.
Abiola Awofeso; Lotus McDougal; Y-Ling Chi (et al.)
In an updated review of how the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting women’s and girls’ health in low- and middle-income contexts, this study examined 247 studies between January and March 2021 (peer-reviewed papers, pre-prints, and working papers that met specific search terms, and contained empirical analyses and findings). This collection of evidence largely reinforces previous findings that in many areas, women are bearing the greatest burdens of the crisis. Evidence continues to mount that there has been disruption of access to and utilization of maternal health services and contraceptive services, disproportionately worse mental health for women versus men, as well as worsened mental health for pregnant women during the pandemic. This review also identifies new research indicating mixed evidence on COVID-19- related knowledge and behaviors and COVID-19 morbidity and mortality by gender. Gaps remain on several health issues (e.g., non-communicable diseases, infectious diseases other than HIV). Existing research also focuses primarily on describing and quantifying the burden of these gendered health impacts, rather than sharing effective mitigation strategies.
UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.
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