The numbers are scary. 11.2 million girls could be out of school forever because of COVID-19, their educations cut short by child marriage, early pregnancy, and other social pressures. They risk joining the millions of more girls who have never had a chance to go to school in the first place. Around the world, a whopping 132 million girls are out of school.

Being out of school puts girls at greater risk of violence and discrimination, and places their futures in jeopardy. And the effects of the pandemic don’t stop there. COVID is also negatively impacting women’s leadership and employment, robbing them of opportunities, and girls of their role models. The impact on communities and future generations could be enormous.

We can’t let girls’ hopes and dreams be permanently extinguished. We need to fight against the effects of the pandemic and other crises and challenges. We need to choose to challenge the rewind.


When girls have the same opportunities to education and support as boys, everyone benefits. Families and societies are more equal. Girls’ lifetime earnings increase. Rates of child marriage and early pregnancy fall. Everyone benefits.

When girls are surrounded by female coaches, teachers, and female role models they can count on, they feel more supported, and are better able to develop their own leadership skills. And when girls see women in positions of power and authority, they are more likely to be able to imagine themselves in those positions, and to strive to achieve their dreams.

We can act to support girls and women.

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You can #ChooseToChallenge the rewind by raising awareness of the impact of the pandemic on girls, and why we need to act. Share our posts on social media. Talk about the impact female role models and teachers have had in your life. Tell your elected officials they need to take action on this issue.

You can also make a difference in the lives of girls by donating to help girls go to school and stay in school, and to empower them with opportunities to play, develop life and leadership skills, and realize their dreams.


For years, Right To Play has worked to improve gender equality and girls’ access to quality education in countries around the globe, using our proven play-based methodology to foster dialogue between girls and boys on gender issues and to ensure school lessons respond to girls’ needs. We also work to ensure classrooms and schools are welcoming and appropriate environments for girls to go to – and stay in -- school.

During COVID-19, we have increased our efforts to support girls and women.

In these countries and others, large-scale sensitization campaigns have been raising awareness of the importance of girls’ education. Female coaches and teachers have been active in their schools and communities, supporting girls who are out of school.

With your help, we can ensure that more girls can go back to school and get the education they deserve.