COVID-19 and the efforts to suppress it will have an alarming impact on the lives and rights of girls and young women. Already treated as second class citizens in many countries, they are least likely to return to school or find a new job, and most likely to suffer abuse and violence at home when the protective umbrella of education and care systems are no longer in place.
At the end of March 2020, some 743 million girls are out of school and all over the world reports of domestic violence are already on the rise.
Teenage pregnancies are also likely to increase as adolescent girls are sexually exploited and are forced to turn to risky strategies to feed themselves and their families.
Plan International has been listening to what girls are saying about the reality of living under lockdown. They are feeling bored, frustrated, alarmed and frightened and they need clear information on the pandemic and support to deal with its impact on them and their families.