The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education across the world and Africa has not been spared. By the 6th of April 2020, 53 African Union Member States had shut down all institutions of learning as a measure to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, affecting an estimated 250 million students across the continent.

Over 133 million of these students are girls and women, and more than 10 million of them risk not returning to school if we do not take action that guarantees their return once schools reopen. Evidence is pointing out that girls and women are suffering disproportionate effects of this pandemic as they bear the burden of care work, and are vulnerable to gender-based abuse.

Together, we can take action to ensure all girls across Africa get back to school. Let us increase our efforts to fight for girls’ right to education by advocating and lobbying to develop post COVID-19 strategic plans for reopening schools that take into account the needs of girls and young women.

From September 11, 2020 the AU/CIEFFA turns its attention to #AfricaEducatesHer, a campaign to bring awareness around issues that hinder girls and women from accessing education and a rallying call for youth, educators, civil society organisationm development partners and AU Member States to take positive action NOW that guarantees girls return to school.