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Addressing the gender dimensions of school closures

Experience tells us that public health outbreaks have distinct gendered impacts, and that preparednessand response efforts must understand the gender dimensions of these crises to avert widening inequalities and seize opportunities to advance gender equality. The COVID-19 pandemic is no different. Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Around the world, countries are aiming to ensure the continuity of learning through alternative delivery modalities, including online learning. It is essential that these efforts consider the risks of exacerbating disparities, and the potential for disengagement and drop out among both boys and girls when schools reopen. While this is a crisis situation, it can also be seen as a window of opportunity to promote innovation, strengthen the resilience and gender-responsiveness of education systems, and close gender gaps and other inequalities in and through education.

UNESCO (2020). Addressing the gender dimensions of school closures.

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