Building back better: Girls’ education in times of COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific 
DFAT GPE Plan event

Event time: Thursday, December 10, 1:00 - 2:00 pm Canberra / Wednesday, December 9, 9:00 - 10:00 pm Washington D.C.

COVID−19 is disproportionately affecting girls and young women, with education gains made over the past decade under threat. Across East Asia and the Pacific, the number of girls out of school is expected to increase by nearly 10%, with at least 1.2 million additional girls at risk of dropping out of school. Girls’ access to learning resources has been highly constrained, with an estimated 40 million girls across the region unable to access distance learning during lock-down measures. The pandemic is also causing increases in gender-based violence, early marriage and teenage pregnancy, which in turn negatively affect girls’ ability to access education and learn.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia (DFAT), GPE and Plan International Australia, will host a public online event focused on girls’ education in Asia and the Pacific against the backdrop of COVID-19. The webinar will amplify the voices of young women and girls in the region, allow participants to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on girls’ education and propose considerations for national stakeholders and policy makers in their efforts to provide quality distance learning and school reopening opportunities.

The event will mark International Human Rights day and the culmination of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.


  • Julie-Ann Guivarra, Ambassador for Gender Equality, DFAT
  • Jo Bourne, Chief Technical Officer, GPE
  • Phuong Anh, Youth Activist, Vietnam
  • Marlene Delis, Youth Leader, Papua New Guinea
  • Putri Naila Dira, Youth Activist, Indonesia

Watch the event recording



DFAT GPE Plan event