International Literacy Day to focus on women's education: UNESCO

By Ians

International Literacy Day: UNESCO


New Delhi, September 4: A day-long conference in Dhaka on International Literacy Day Sep 8 will focus on the importance of girls' and women's literacy and education for sustainable development, Unesco said Wednesday.

To celebrate this day, a conference will take place in Dhaka, where the government of Bangladesh in cooperation with Unesco will deliberate on "Girls' and Women's Literacy and Education: Foundations for Sustainable Development". "Participants will reflect on girls' and women's education and literacy as conditions for lifelong learning and sustainable development, drawing on experiences from Bangladesh and around the world," said a Unesco statement here.

During the conference, the findings of the 2013/14 "Education For All Global Monitoring Report" (GMR) will also be presented. The report observes that "if all women had a primary education, child mortality could fall by a sixth and maternal deaths by two-thirds". "Child marriages would fall by 14 percent if all girls in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia had primary education, and by 64 percent with secondary education," the report said.

According to the report, poor quality education is leaving a legacy of illiteracy more widespread than previously believed. "One in four young people - 175 million adolescents - is unable to read a single sentence," said the GMR report which projects that "it will take until 2072 for the poorest young women in developing countries to learn to read".

This year's activities focus on the links between literacy and sustainable development. Unesco believes that literacy is the basis for lifelong learning and plays a crucial role in the creation of sustainable, prosperous and peaceful societies. "We must invest more," Unesco director-general Irina Bokova said. "I appeal to every member state and all our partners to redouble efforts - political and financial - to ensure that literacy is fully recognized as one of the most powerful accelerators of sustainable development," she said.


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