This event took place on Wednesday 10 March 2021. The recording is now available on this page.

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About the webinar

International Women's Day was celebrated on 8 March on the theme of '#ChooseToChallenge'.

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in massive school closures, with more than one billion learners worldwide affected. This phenomenal crisis has the potential to exacerbate existing gender inequalities in education and create new challenges.

In this webinar, we heard from teachers from around the world on the effect that lockdown in their respective countries has had on the gap in engagement and access to learning for girls.

About the panel

This was a panel event, with speakers from around the world, followed by questions from the audience.

Helen Grant is MP for Maidstone and The Weald in England and the UK Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Girls’ Education. In 2010, Helen Grant became the first Anglo-African female Conservative MP. During her time in Parliament, Helen has also been a member of the Justice and International Development Select Committees. Before politics, she was a family lawyer, having set up her own legal practice in 1996 specialising in family breakdown and domestic violence. This year, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Helen as his Special Envoy for Girls’ Education, she has also been the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria since October 2020, and previous roles in government include Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Equalities and Minister for Sport and Tourism. She spoke about the global importance of girls’ education, which she’s written on recently in this article. You can follow Helen on Twitter here.

Alice Wekesa is a Senior Gender and Inclusion Consultant at the British Council and is based in Kenya. Her role entails capacity building and supporting British Council colleagues to integrate gender equality considerations in programme design and delivery. Alice chaired the live event.

Mike Tibbits is a Chemistry teacher and Global Learning Coordinator at Droitwich Spa High School & Sixth Form Centre in England.  The school has long-standing international partnerships in Kenya and India, including the Ramjas RK Puram school, New Delhi.  He shared his experience of delivering a secondary school curriculum that places gender equity at the forefront.

Meera Bhardwaj has worked in the teaching profession for more than three decades. She teaches ages 17-18 and is Head of the English department at Ramjas School in New Delhi, India. Meera is the school's Coordinator for all international programmes and is also a British Council Schools Ambassador. Aside from teaching, the focus area of Meera's work has been building core skills in students and promoting critical thinking. Through a partnership with Droitwich Spa High School in the UK and three schools in Taiwan, Meera's school is working on developing a skills set which will help build global citizens.

Joanne Roxburgh has over twenty-five years’ experience working in education. She spent the first 15 years of her career working for universities in South East Asia and the Middle East in materials and curriculum development roles. Since returning to the UK in 2011, she has headed up teams designing and delivering online learning materials at companies including Kaplan International, Pearson Education and EF Education First. She is currently a PhD student in Technology Enhanced Learning and complements her studies with consultancy projects. This includes supporting universities around the world as they transition their programmes to online learning, holding several non-executive roles, being a mentor for business women in the Global South and also working as a gender advisor for the British Council. 


Other gender equality resources

  • Download free gender equality teaching resources here.