Skip to main content

Policy brief series on gender and education in crisis

In Solidarity With Girls

08 Sep 2020

On International Literacy Day, we celebrate the launch of a new policy brief series - In Solidarity With Girls: Gender and Education in Crisis - produced by the young women activists who led a series of intergenerational dialogues earlier this year. This publication represents a coordinated partnership approach to the meaningful inclusion of youth-led networks in the COVID-19 education response.

Intergenerational action in response to COVID-19 

In the context of school closures due to COVID-19, the education of an entire generation of children and youth has been disrupted. Previous health emergencies have shown that failure to identify gender as a response priority at the global level can have a devastating impact at the national and local level. In times of crisis such as this, girls face a higher risk of child marriage and early pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence, an increased burden of care work and lost learning.

In the COVID-19 response, we must draw from these lessons, and in so doing, engage with youth-led and youth-serving networks as partners. It is especially important that girls and young women are consulted meaningfully in the policy dialogues and decision-making that are shaping COVID-19 education response and recovery efforts.

In recognition of this, in May 2020, UNGEI hosted a series of intergenerational dialogues on gender and education in crisis in partnership with the UK Government, Plan International, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Each intergenerational dialogue was held between women leaders, including members of the Platform for Girls’ Education, and young women activists, focusing on a specific theme relating to gender, education and COVID-19. Overall, the dialogues highlighted the critical importance of an intergenerational partnership approach to advance gender equality in education, during and beyond this crisis.

Recommendations for action to ensure 

In the weeks that followed, the young women activists who participated in the intergenerational dialogues came together to develop a series of policy briefs which we are pleased to be launching today. The overarching purpose of the briefs is to strategically influence the work that CSOs, governments and funders are doing to respond to COVID-19. Organized around the theme of each dialogue, the publication features:

Brief 1: Opening up better and getting girls back to school 

Brief 2: Rebuilding a ‘new normal’ in education post COVID-19 

Brief 3: COVID-19 and girls’ education: A tale of two futures


Resource list

©UNGEI/Jeyda Bicer
©UNGEI/Jeyda Bicer

The experiences and recommendations highlighted through the briefs provide vital information and a rallying call to action for everyone working to build back more equal education systems following the COVID-19 crisis.

We urge you to download this publication, share it widely, and join our mission for gender equality in and through education.

More to explore

Leave No Girl Behind

blog post

Leave No Girl Behind

Asma Zubairi , Pauline Rose , Monazza Aslam , Shenila Rawal & Romanshi Gupta