COVID-19: UNESCO and partners in education launch global campaign to keep girls in the picture

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest school closures and education disruption in history, with more than 1.5 billion students affected at the height of the crisis. Over 767 million of these students were girls.

Now, another major challenge is looming. Over 11 million girls – from pre-primary to tertiary education – may not return to school in 2020. This alarming number not only threatens decades of progress made towards gender equality, but also puts girls around the world at risk of adolescent pregnancy, early and forced marriage, and violence. For many girls, school is more than just a key to a better future. It’s a lifeline.

This is why UNESCO and members of the Global Education Coalition’s Gender Flagship are launching a new #LearningNeverStops campaign focusing on ‘keeping girls in the picture.’

The campaign calls for efforts to safeguard progress made on girls’ education, ensure girls’ learning continuity during school closures, and promote girls’ safe return to school once these reopen. It also sheds light on the 130 million girls who were already out of school before the pandemic, and calls on the international community to urgently work together to guarantee their right to education.

It’s time to turn the crisis into an opportunity to build back equal.

The new #LearningNeverStops multilingual campaign features a signature launch video, engaging social media assets, practical toolkits for radio and youth-led organizations as well as a Girls back to school guide for partners to engage audiences and stakeholders everywhere.

Youth activists and community radios are being mobilized at the local level to access hard to reach communities to reach. Local and regional influencers, experts, education professionals and champions for girls’ and women’s rights have also committed to amplifying campaign messages and spread knowledge through their respective networks.

Powerful human-interest stories from girls around the world will also be featured throughout this extended campaign. A wealth of knowledge and resources on girls’ and women’s education are also available on the campaign landing page.

Join the campaign now and use your voice to ensure that #LearningNeverStops for girls everywhere.

About UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition

The Global Education Coalition was launched UNESCO at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as a platform for collaboration and exchange to protect the right to education during this unprecedented disruption and beyond. It currently brings together more than 140 members from the UN family, civil society, academia and the private sector, among others.

The Coalition has established three Flagships, including one on gender. The Gender Flagship is open to all organizations within the Global Education Coalition interested in gender equality in and through education. The Gender Flagship works to address the gender dimensions of COVID-19’s impact on education and safeguard progress made on gender equality in education in recent decades.

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Kwame Anane

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