ERIC Number: ED300554
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Women, Illiteracy and Poverty: Breaking the Cycle. An Issue Brief.
National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education.
Illiteracy is an alarming national problem. An estimated 27 million Americans are considered illiterate, and another 45 million are considered marginally competent in basic skills. Although literacy efforts have been increasing, little attention has been focused on women. This oversight could be costly. Four critical factors weigh heavily in favor of the needs of literacy education for women: (1) the economic jeopardy of poorly educated women and the families they head; (2) the cycle of illiteracy; (3) increased labor force participation of women; and (4) family needs. Illiteracy is increasingly linked to America's deepest problems: teenage pregnancy, crime, chronic unemployment, long-term welfare dependency, and poverty. Each year the lives of millions of women and children are tragically affected by illiteracy. In the future, two out of three new entrants to the labor force will be women, and few jobs will fall into the low-skill category. If women are to benefit from the jobs of the future, their literacy needs must be met. Programs must not only address their learning needs, but must also provide support services (such as child care) so they can learn. More public funds should be targeted toward women, and provider programs must be coordinated to help women and the families they head to break out of the cycle of illiteracy and poverty. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education.