Building back better: Girls’ Education in times of COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific

Webinar Poster

The Education, Social Protection and Human Development Finance Branch and the Gender Equality Branch, in partnership with the Global Partnership for Education and PLAN Australia, is pleased to convene ‘Building back better: Girls’ Education in times of COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific’ on the Thursday 10 December, chaired by the Ambassador for Gender Equality, Julie-Ann Guivarra.

** Open to external organisations – please share with people who may be interested**

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 ten per cent, 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.

With an estimated 40 million girls unable to access distance learning, and further estimated 118,000 girls at risk of adolescent pregnancy in the region, how likely will girls be able to return to school and what are the impacts for gender parity in learning?

Against this backdrop, this webinar is convened around the voices of girls in the Asia and the Pacific to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the education of girls in the region, their priorities, and propose considerations for national stakeholders and policy makers in their efforts to provide quality distance learning and school reopening opportunities. The webinar will amplify the key concerns of young women and girls, and those working to support them, while discussing ways to support girls’ increased involvement in response and recovery.

The webinar will address the following questions:

  1. Given the challenges that COVID-related school closures pose for girls in terms of learning, options to return to school, and staying in school, what lessons have we learned from past crises and the current pandemic from countries that are addressing these challenges?
  2. What actions can government, donors and civil society take to protect girls’ right to education?
  3. How can we increase political buy-in/will at the regional and global levels to ensure that girls are not forgotten during the pandemic and as we build back better?


  • Julie-Ann Guivarra, Ambassador for Gender Equality, DFAT (Chair)
  • Jo Bourne, Chief Technical Officer, GPE (Chair)
  • Phuong Anh, Youth Activist, PLAN, Vietnam (speaker)
  • Marlene Delis, Live and Learn, and the Woman’s Leadership Initiative, PNG (speaker)
  • Other young female leaders from the region (TBC)




For those who cannot attend, the webinar will be recorded and made available on the GPE page/website.