ERIC Number: ED328674
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Literacy: Tool for Empowering Women.
United Nations, New York, NY. Office of Public Information.
About two-thirds of the 963 million people in the world who cannot read and write are women, according to the United Nations. Women who are illiterate cannot pass on literacy skills to their children. The United Nations proclaimed 1990 International Literacy Year and conducted conferences for literacy. Education for women and girls was designated a top priority at these conferences. Reasons for female illiteracy identified by conference participants were traditional occupations, traditional attitudes, and economic recession. Even women who can read and write are often functionally illiterate in economic, legal, and political matters, or are forbidden by law or custom from participating in these areas of society. Helping women become more literate in all areas empowers them to take control of their lives. It also benefits society by leading to lower population growth and better education for children. A number of programs are in progress, carried out either by individual governments or between governments and United Nations agencies, to educate women. In the United States, these programs are often called "family literacy" and are linked to Head Start. The involvement of mass media is also vital in promoting worldwide literacy projects. In addition, 10 United Nations agencies have produced a videotape on women and literacy, showing the link between literacy for women and improvements in health care and family planning, increased economic opportunities, and greater civic awareness. (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Developed Nations, Developing Nations, Economic Development, Educational Needs, Empowerment, Females, Foreign Countries, Functional Literacy, Intergenerational Programs, Literacy Education, Program Implementation, Videotape Recordings, Womens Education
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: United Nations, New York, NY. Office of Public Information.