All over the world, people are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the International Literacy Day, founded in 1965 to draw attention to the challenges full literacy faces throughout the world.
The Day’s sponsor, UNESCO, reports that, despite gains, 775 million adults cannot read or write. Women account for two-thirds of that number. Among youth, 122 million are illiterate, and 74 million are girls and young women. While the overall size of the global illiterate population is shrinking, the female proportion—roughly 64%—does not budge. As is the case with many human rights, girls and women participate at a disproportionately low level.
To mark the progress that has been made and to encourage us toward the future, events are planned all over the globe this week, from Ireland to Pakistan to India. From New York to East Cleveland to the Great Plains of Oklahoma, folks are marking the day.
So, three cheers for organizations such as International Literacy Association. “Bravo!” to teachers in night schools and libraries and makeshift classrooms everywhere.
Read. Write. Share. Let’s make the reports a whole lot better by 2025.