At its peak, COVID-19 left nearly 1.6 billion children out of school, including 767 million girls. Six months after COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic, there are still more than 850 million children out of school.
On September 9, GPE brought together political leaders from Denmark, Sierra Leone and Norway and youth activists from the African Union, UNGEI and Girls not Brides. The discussion, moderated by Maryam and Nivaal Rehman, twin activists, journalists and filmmakers, focused on the importance of ensuring that girls and other vulnerable groups are not left behind when countries build back from the health, economic and educational setbacks caused by COVID-19.
Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of GPE, stated, “We’ve seen over the past few months - not just in the developing countries, but globally - how vulnerable education is to crisis. We know that when schools close girls are hit hard. There’s teenage pregnancy, there’s violence, there’s gender-based violence and there’s more early marriage.”
Rasmus Prehn, Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation, shared how Denmark has been a strong political advocate for girls’ education and has helped developing countries fight against the pandemic.