Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest Issue 4 (May 2022)

Marginalized girls’ learning and COVID-19

A ‘Blue Brigade” volunteer teaches children in the compound of a house under Blue Brigade initiative, India


Progress towards SDG 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all – was already in jeopardy before COVID-19. The world was facing a learning crisis, with 48 per cent of children unable to read and understand a simple text by the age of 10.

For the most marginalized children, the learning crisis was even more severe. In low-income countries, 94 per cent of girls (and 93 per cent of boys) were not able to read by the age of 10, compared with 7 per cent of girls (and 8 per cent of boys) in high-income countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing disparities to the detriment of the girls and boys who were already being left behind.

This digest spotlights 13 research papers, and summarizes lessons and evidence of the impacts of COVID-19 on marginalized girls’ learning, drawing from UNICEF Innocenti’s Children and COVID-19 Research Library launched in 2020.

Document cover
UNICEF Innocenti

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