The Lost Girls of Covid-19

After Kenya’s initial COVID-19 lockdowns lifted and schools reopened, many female students didn’t return. 

  • When researchers asked why, the most common reason was that their family couldn’t afford it. The second most common was that they were pregnant.

In developing nations, the pandemic is undermining decades of progress in young women’s education and health, reports Jill Filipovic. 

  • The consequences of girls leaving school: Increased chances of adolescent marriage, female genital mutilation, and pregnancy. Teen pregnancy rates in some Kenyan counties tripled in the first months of the pandemic, according to aid groups.
  • Dropping out also decreases earning potential, widening the poverty gap between men and women. 

The question now, experts say, is whether the pandemic has set girls’ progress back a generation. 

Bloomberg Businessweek

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