On 14 October, UNESCO is organizing a webinar entitled Building back equal: addressing the gender dimensions of COVID-19 school closures through technology.
In April 2020, at the peak of the pandemic, close to 450 million students had no access to online learning options. This is a particular concern for girls. The gender digital divide and girls’ reduced access to information and communication technologies, even in contexts with high mobile and Internet coverage, mean that many girls may have stopped learning during school closures. The lockdowns have also exposed many girls to gender-based violence including sexual exploitation, early and forced marriage and early and unintended pregnancy, particularly in low- and low-middle income contexts.
Now more than ever we must ensure that we leverage technology to build back equal – to ensure continuity of learning; address health, protection and food security concerns linked to school closures; and promote the return of all children to school safely and fulfil their right to education.
This event will explore efforts to address the gender dimensions of COVID-19 school closures and to build back equal through technology. Specifically, it aims to:
- showcase examples of programmes, products and strategies aimed at closing the gender digital divide and fostering girls’ and women’s empowerment through technology during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- highlight the role of inclusive technology solutions, coupled with gender-responsive policies on digital access and skills development, to leverage gender equality in and through education; and
- call for further action to leverage technology to build back more gender-equal education systems, prioritize resilience, and address the key bottlenecks and barriers to girls’ education.
The session will also contribute to ongoing reflection taking place within the multi-stakeholder Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality that will be formally established as an outcome of the 2021 Generation Equality Forum (Mexico and France, dates TBD).
Registration is open and free