Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 School Closures: Insights from Frontline Organizations

Authored by: Maryam Akmal, Susannah Hares and Megan O'Donnell

Categories: Global Public Health
Sub-Categories: COVID-19, Economic Participation, Human Development
Year: 2020
Citation: Akmal, Maryam, et al. “Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 School Closures: Insights from Frontline Organizations.” Center for Global Development, May 2020.

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COVID-19 school closures pose significant operational and financial risks to frontline organizations delivering vital education services, including non-governmental organizations, school operators, and other service providers. In this survey, the authors ask these organizations about the challenges they are facing in light of COVID-19 closures, particularly for girls. The responses shed light on how COVID-19 is affecting education service operations—and what providers are doing in response. The authors uncover three major findings. First, 69 percent of the respondents believe that girls are at a greater risk than boys from COVID-19 school closures, with more than half of those respondents citing girls’ exposure to gender-based violence as a major concern. Second, close to half (42 percent) of the respondents report that their organization is experiencing budget cuts, with 73 percent of those respondents citing a drop in funding from private and philanthropic donors. Third, despite the financial and operational disruptions due to school closures and lockdowns, 89 percent of the respondents report planning and delivering additional vital interventions during the pandemic. It is crucial, now more than ever, that donors and policymakers support and engage with frontline organizations delivering vital services for girls and their communities.