April 08, 2021
8-9:30AM EDT / 6-7:30PM BST
Webinar, United States

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women and girls globally, widening existing inequalities in livelihoods, burden of care, schooling, and violence. Designing social policies to mitigate these impacts and support educational opportunities for girls—including to help them return to school and strengthen the skills they need to succeed in the workforce—is critical to post-pandemic economic recovery and gender equality.

To understand the extent of these issues, and to shed light on the pandemic’s particularly hidden impacts on vulnerable girls, policymakers have needed data and evidence. Recent research conducted during and before the pandemic can help the policy and practitioner communities in Bangladesh better understand how adolescent girls have been impacted by the public health crisis and by the measures put in place to contain the virus, helping to shape responses.

On April 8, 2021, this roundtable event convened researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to share research findings and discuss policy solutions to explore the following questions: How have girls’ education and livelihoods been impacted? Is early marriage increasing? How can data and evidence be used to support policies that help adolescent girls? A facilitated Q&A session among invitees from government, international and local organizations, and academia followed the presentations.

This event was part of IPA’s RECOVR Roundtable Series: Bringing Evidence to COVID-19 Policy Responses in the Global South and the Women’s Work, Entrepreneurship, and Skilling (WWES) Initiative. Together with our partners, we are using this series to exchange learnings between the policy, practice, and research communities to support evidence-informed response efforts. More information about RECOVR is available here and WWES here.

Watch the recording below:


Presenters (in alphabetical order)
  • Sarah Baird, Associate Professor of Global Health and Economics, George Washington University
  • Momoe Makino, Research Fellow, Institute of Developing Economies, and Visiting Research Fellow, GIRL Center, Population Council
  • Shahana Nazneen, Qualitative Researcher, Girls’ Empowerment Project, Southern Bangladesh, Innovations for Poverty Action
  • Kate Vyborny, Research Associate, Duke University
  • Zaki Wahhaj, Reader in Economics, University of Kent



  • Maheen Sultan, GAGE Bangladesh Qualitative Research Co-Lead at BRAC University

Policy Discussants

  • Tahsinah Ahmed, Executive Director, Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programmes (UCEP) Bangladesh
  • Sajeda Amin, Senior Associate, Population Council

Policy Reflections

  • MD Afzal Hossain Sarwar, Policy Specialist (Educational Innovation), Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Program, ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology
  • Rayhana Taslim, Project Director, 9 Government Secondary Schools Project, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, Ministry of Education


Supporting Adolescent Girls in the Time of COVID-19: Evidence and Policy for Bangladesh