UNICEF reported the last two decades saw a halving of the number of girls out of school from 30 million to 15 million. But UNESCO now estimates 1.2 million additional girls in the region could drop out of school due to the effects of COVID-19.
While the data varies from country to country, the overall picture suggests the pandemic will exacerbate existing gender inequalities and have long-term implications for girls and their communities.
Across the region girls drop out of school because their care responsibilities at home have dramatically increased as family members fall victim to the virus or return home because the pandemic has stalled migratory work.
You can read this report, written for The Conversation by Katrina Lee-Koo, associate professor of International Relations at Monash University, by following this link: