WOMENAID INTERNATIONAL

LITERACY FOR WOMEN

A DEVELOPMENT PRIORITY

Education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women. Ensuring girls receive basic education is a sure way to give them more power over their lives. The right of girls to education is a basic human right enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and also the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. However, millions of women throughout the world never have a chance to learn to read, write and add numbers. They sign papers with their thumbprint.

TWO-THIRDS OF THE WORLD’S ILLITERATES 
ARE WOMEN.

In seventeen countries over 90 percent of women are illiterate. The inferior position assigned to women jeopardizes not only their future status in society but also the future of society itself. A World Fertility Survey discovered ‘Women’s ability to read and write was more closely related than even their income to their fertility, use of contraception - and their children’s health.’ An educated woman is more likely to marry later in life and have fewer children. International research indicates that an extra year at school for girls reduces fertility rates by 5 to 10 per cent.  An educated woman benefits society as a whole.

Fewer girls go to school than boys in nearly every Third World country. Literacy enables women to: help to improve their family’s health and diet; increase their production and earnings and standard of living; gain access to appropriate technologies, credit and  participation in co-operatives and improve their social and cultural status.

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WomenAid International has funded the building of two schools for girls in North Pakistan, repaired schools in Armenia and implemented school feeding and assistance programmes for over half a million children at risk in the Caucasus.

WORLD LITERACY DAY SEPTEMBER 8

"Educate a boy and you educate one person. Educate a girl and you educate a nation."    

A. Ibn Badis, Algerian Muslim Reformist.(1889-1940)

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WOMENAID INTERNATIONAL  
E-MAIL: womenaid@womenaid.org           Reg. Charity No. 299224

 

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