As Covid-19 persists so does the education crisis that threatens the loss of learning for an entire generation of children.
Rather than serving as an “equalizer” Covid-19 has highlighted the inequities and barriers faced by children in low- income countries regarding access to education. More specifically, this pandemic has taken a devastating toll of girls’ education, unravelling much of the progress that has been made in realizing a girl’s right to education.
As such, girls’ education should be made a critical priority in Canada’s global Covid-19 response.
By removing roadblocks and ensuring that girls around the world can learn in a safe and supportive environment, we are ensuring not only the health and wellbeing of these girls but also of their communities. Girl’s education undeniably generates huge dividends for economic prosperity, gender equality, public health and lasting peace and stability.
An educated girl will lift herself and everyone around her out of poverty and will stop the perpetual cycle of young girls being married off and becoming mothers before they are both mentally and physically prepared to do so. An educated girl will lead change within her community, helping to make the world a more prosperous, equal and safe place for all. To realize a girl’s right to health, more Canadians should be made aware of the anniversary of the Charlevoix Declaration (June 9, 2021), which is committed to closing the gap in access to education, especially for girls, during conflict and crisis; and removing barriers to gender equality and access to education. In addition, it is necessary for the government of Canada to pay more specific attention to girl’s education. Specifically, Canada must invest CAD $500 million over five years in the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) so that all children around the world have access to quality education during and after the pandemic.