Sunday, September 12, 2010

UN: Literacy Empowers

From the Mail:
Top United Nations officials called today for more funding and advocacy to improve literacy rates among the world's women, who comprise two out of every three adults who cannot read or write.

In a message marking International Literacy Day, which is observed today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the transformative effect on both a family and the wider community when a woman is literate.

Literate women are more likely to send their children, especially their girls, to school,” he said. “By acquiring literacy, women become more economically self-reliant and more actively engaged in their country's social, political and cultural life. All evidence shows that investment in literacy for women yields high development dividends.”

Mr. Ban urged governments, donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other groups to do more to make literacy accessible to women everywhere, particularly those living in vulnerable or isolated communities.

Every literate woman marks a victory over poverty,” he noted, calling for increasing funding and sustained advocacy for quality literacy programmes that empower women and ensure that girls and boys at primary and secondary level do not become a new generation of young illiterates.”

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