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Risking education: 49% Indian girls report household income loss vs 42% in Asia-Africa

By Our Representative
A virtual interview with 24,000 girls aged 15-19 during school closures in Asia and Africa has indicated that of the 9,887 reported loss of household income, 49% or 4,942 of them were from India. Overall, 42% of the girls said their households had lost income during the pandemic, making financial impact of Covid-19 the most significant risk to a girl’s education.
Carried out by Room to Read, a non-profit with headquarters in San Francisco, US, having presence in 10 countries of Asia and Africa, including India, its Girls’ Education Risk Indicator survey confined its interviews among low income communities across Asia and Africa.
The interviews took place over the phone or via video app calls in April and May 2020. Room to Read mentors asked three simple “yes” or “no” questions: Are you currently self-studying/keeping up with academic learning at home? Has anyone in your household lost a job or a source of income as a result of Covid-19? Are you concerned about being able to return to school once schools reopen?
The results of the interview also showed that 1 in 2 girls’ (49%) responded positively to at least one of risk indicator question, 8% of girls said they had stopped learning since school closures, and 7% are already concerned they will not return to school. A report on the survey said, “Extreme economic hardship and gender disparities in low-income communities across Africa and Asia regularly result in parents choosing not to educate their daughters.”
It added, “The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a heightened risk to girls’ education as early marriage, gender-based violence, sex trafficking, and other pressures to contribute to family income or serve as caregivers inside the home disproportionately impact young women.”

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