Interrogating COVID-19 from a Gender Lens: The Pandemic as a Silent Killer of Educational Aspirations and Achievements of Girls
Keywords:gender, COVID-19, physical classes, online classes, pandemic as violence, roadmap for the future
COVID 19, which has been disrupting lives and livelihoods for over a year, is leaving a trail of damages that have blocked pathways of progress, especially for groups in the margins. In the initial phases of the onset of the pandemic, it was treated as a major health hazard and the entire discourse centred around the means by which we could escape from being attacked by the virus. But as times rolled by, the realisation that the pandemic was upsetting future life chances of many groups that were already experiencing deprivation dawned on us. In this group, fall millions of girls whose hopes for an empowered future through formal schooling have gone into disarray, because when gender intersects with marginality, the intensity of the impact is stronger. With lockdowns resulting in forced school closures, not only was there a sudden rise in the number of out-of-school children, but intra-familial violence in the form of increased domestic drudgery, early marriages, adolescent pregnancies, lack of access to reproductive health care, sexual abuse by male family members also multiplied. This article attempts to analyse the impact of COVID-19 from a gender perspective, and in that background examine the dent it has made in the educational development of girl children.
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