Falling on 11 October, International Day of the Girl Child is a United Nations day that brings attention to “girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.” Empowering young girls early in life can give them the “potential to change the world — both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.” However, as we’ve seen with previous health crises, COVID-19’s lingering economic and social impacts on...
As the world continues to battle coronavirus, the pandemic is wreaking havoc on the economies of the poorest countries and could push millions of people into hunger and poverty. Governments desperately need money to fund emergency plans but are faced with the impossible choice of saving lives or making debt repayments. We can do something about it. But what of the people that will be profoundly affected by the decisions world leaders make? We asked our Global Activists how the pandemic...
The World Bank predicts the greatest drop in remittances in recent history, with low-income developing countries set to receive US$110 billion less, due to COVID-19 in 2020. Remittances, which are the cash flows sent home by migrant workers to help their families, are a huge source of finance for low- and-middle-income countries. Last year, these countries received 78% of the US$714 billion that were sent around the world. Global remittance flows were five times higher than official development assistance in...
Megan Gieske is a storyteller and photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Two young men in Langa are taking a stand against gender-based violence by mentoring and educating young boys. “We need to educate men about gender-based violence and gender equality, so women and young girls can be free,” explain the two co-founders of #LangaforMen, Siyabonga Khusela and Luyolo Lengisi. Siyabonga and Luyolo are young, just 21 and 22. They started #LangaforMen in response to the violence against women they witnessed as...
It has been more than three months since Isaac Mutua, a Kenyan working in Durban, South Africa, sent money home to his family back in Kenya. Mutua, a renowned chef, lost his job after his employer closed down the restaurant where he worked following the COVID-19 lockdown measures in South Africa starting on 24 March. Since 2015, Mutua has been sending $300 monthly to Nduta, his wife based in Kitengela, outside of Nairobi. His remittances have been their sole source...
Healthcare is being hit hard by the pandemic. COVID-19 has disrupted services for the prevention and treatment of noncommunicable diseases, could disrupt essential interventions for malaria, and has put an enormous amount of pressure on health systems. But, as we’ve seen with education and work, the pandemic could have an even greater, disproportionate impact on healthcare for women and girls, specifically maternal, reproductive, and contraceptive care. Here’s why. Previous health crises impacts on women and girls’ health Prior to COVID-19 in 2017, over...
Even before COVID-19 hit, 90% of children in low-income countries could not read and understand a simple story when they reached their 10th birthday. In Nigeria, three-quarters of primary teachers cannot pass a fourth grade test. The onset of COVID-19 is exacerbating the global learning crisis. At its peak, COVID-19 pushed 1.6 billion children out of school. By October, schools in 92 countries will remain closed. These months of lost learning disproportionately affect the poorest and the most marginalised. In...
September saw shocking new reports and data on COVID-19’s impact on women and girls and on global wages. But, there was also an emphasis on how young African innovators are successfully creating home-grown solutions to tackle the pandemic in their communities, as well as new surveys that show massive support for global cooperation and vaccine equity during COVID-19. Governments failing to protect women during the pandemic Only one in eight countries have measures to specifically protect women from the impacts of...
To ensure that the world responds effectively to COVID-19 and the challenges it has presented, world leaders, companies, and individuals need to come together in a single response effort — a global pandemic of this magnitude demands a global response. Finding an effective vaccine is a key part of a global response plan. But that is only half the battle. After an effective vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available, world leaders must come together to ensure there is equitable access to a...
After the COVID-19 pandemic started, we launched our ONE World campaign, calling on the international community to join forces to combat the virus. Because a crisis of this scale requires a global response. In times of crisis, strong leadership is of the utmost importance. People all over the world are stepping up. Communities are leading, healthcare workers are leading, citizens are leading… and we need decision-makers to follow suit. Sadly, we have not seen the strong, consistent global leadership we...