Effects of COVID-19 on Girls' Education in the Global South

Webinar Video

  • Title: Effects of COVID-19 on Girls’ Education in the Global South
  • Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2020
  • Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (EDT)
  • Duration: 1.5 Hours

Webinar summaries - Effects of COVID-19 on Girls' Education in the Global South (PDF Version)


COVID-19 has become an unprecedented global crisis. The pandemic has exposed deep structural inequalities around the world, with disproportionate effects on women and girls. This webinar will discuss current issues around COVID-19 and girls’ education in the Global South. A diverse panel of experts from the worlds of international development research and practice will discuss research priorities and possible policy solutions for addressing girls’ education.

This is the fifth event in a series of research-to-practice Webinar on the gender dimensions of COVID19 organized by the Women’s Empowerment in Development (WED) Lab at McGill in partnership with the Institute for the Study of International Development and made possible thanks to funding from the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW 2) program, a multi-funder initiative by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Canada’s International Development Research Centre.


By mid July 2020, health actors had confirmed more than 11.7 million cases of COVID-19, including more than 538,000 deaths in 213 countries around the world. While these figures are high, they do not adequately depict the gravity of the pandemic. As a result of restricting movement, halting travel, closing business, and disrupting global supply chains, COVID-19 has affected every aspect of human life.

As with other pandemics in recent history, women are particularly vulnerable. COVID-19 has further aggravated structural inequalities that systematically disadvantage women. As COVID-19 forces school closures in 185 countries, there is a strong potential for increased drop-out rates which will disproportionately affect adolescent girls, further entrench gender gaps in education and lead to increased risk of sexual exploitation, early pregnancy and early and forced marriage. Given the current challenges, it is important to focus attention on the gender dimensions of COVID-19 and its impact on girls’ education in the Global South.


  • Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi (World Bank Group)
  • Dr. Sonalde Desai (University of Maryland)
  • Megan O'Donnell (CGD)
  • Tracey Evans (AKFC)