COVID-19 im­pacts re­in­force the edu­ca­tional dif­fer­ences between genders

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse some of the progress made regarding the equal access to all levels of education.

Im­pact of COVID-19 on edu­ca­tion:

  • Girls are more at risk than boys of dropping out of school completely as a result of school closures. The Malala Foundation estimates that an additional 20 million girls are loosing access to education due to the COVID-19 pandemic.x

  • Home schooling is particularly problematic in light of the Digital Gender Gap. According to this, 250 million fewer women than men have access to the internet. This increases the risk that they will not be able to benefit from virtual learning solutions. It is likely that the Digital Gender Gap will continue to widen.x

Build­ing Back Bet­ter

What can be done?

In the 2030 Agenda, equal education for all is set as sub-goal 4.5 (SDG 4 "Quality education"). To achieve this goal by 2030, the progress made in recent years in the education of girls and young women must not be put at risk.x

To achieve this, it is crucial to focus on education in all response plans to COVID-19. Stronger education systems must be built and the barriers that cause girls to drop out of school must be removed. 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on educational opportunities has shown how important access to technology is for girls. Equipping them with knowledge and skills to use the internet effectively goes a long way in reducing the gender gap in education.



New study takes an in­ter­sec­tional look at the im­pact of Covid-19 on gender equity

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A new study highlights how women and girls in all their diversity are particularly affected by the social, health, and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. It provides concrete steps for action on how to embed intersectional approaches into German development cooperation’s work on gender equality and Covid-19 recovery.


  1. Source: Malala Fund (2020): Girls Education and COVID-19: What past shocks can teach us about mitigating the impact of pandemics.
  2. Source: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (2020): #eskills4girls Facts & Figures.
  3. Source: United Nations: Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (opens in a new window)