When schools shut: gendered impacts of COVID-19 school closures

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When schools shut: gendered impacts of COVID-19 school closures

Side-Event of the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Minister’s Conference (APREMC-II)

In April 2020, at the peak of the epidemic, schooling was disrupted for millions of students across nearly all of Asia in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. Although schools have reopened in most countries in Asia and the Pacific, millions of students remain affected by partial closures or have not yet returned to classrooms and are at risk of dropping out. 

While school closures are detrimental to all students, pre-existing gender roles, limitations and expectations shape the specific barriers and risks experienced by girls and boys. The most marginalized, 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.

UNESCO, through the Global Education Coalition’s Gender Flagship and with evidence collected by the Population Council, has published a global report on gendered impact of COVID-19 school closures, entitled When schools shut (2021). Accompanied by a systematic review of the research evidence prepared by University College London, the report shows how interventions that challenge gender-based barriers can limit learning loss and drop-out rates when schools reopen.

The webinar will:

  • Examine the findings and recommendations outlined in When schools shut: Gendered impacts of COVID-19 school closures and its accompanying publication Evidence on the gendered impacts of extended school closures: A systematic review, and consider their implications for the region;
  • Foster knowledge and ideas exchange on how countries in Asia and the Pacific can develop and implement comprehensive intersectoral interventions that challenge gender-based barriers to participation in remote learning during extended school closures and the return to school, with particular attention to learners’ protection, health, nutrition and well-being; and
  • Build understanding of how, in the medium- and long-term, countries in Asia and the Pacific can develop gender-responsive learning recovery and foster gender-transformative education systems that prioritize equity and resilience and address the key bottlenecks and barriers to education.

Date: 3 June 2022

Time: 16.00 – 17.30 hrs, Bangkok time (GMT+7)

To register: https://unesco-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xXWhM4vbTJuRWkpn1eDgmA

For more information about this event, please contact Elspeth McOmish, Programme Specialist, Section for Inclusion and Gender Equality, Education Sector, UNESCO by email: e.mcomish(at)unesco(dot)org.

1. Concept note
2. Programme
3. Biographies of speakers