There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. The most common definition - the ability to read and write at a specified age. Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world.
India: Definition of literacy and Census Bureau percentages for the total population, males, and females.
definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 61% male: 73.4% female: 47.8% (2001 census)
Global Citizen: Primary Education
Access to education is not a privilege, it's a right.
No one teaches us how to dream. We just do. But dreams can only carry the 67 million children not in school, mostly girls, so far. Educating child no matter where they are is one of the biggest steps we can take toward ending extreme poverty.
8 million children are not in school. Choose to speak up for their right. It's time you raised your voice too. Let's together show these children the way to school.
An Uneducated Girl is a Girl in Darkness
Two-thirds of the world's 880 million illiterate adults are women. Girls are more than 70 percent of the 125 million children who don't have a school to attend. Significantly more girls than boys enrolled in the first grade fail to complete the first cycle of primary school.
Social traditions and deep-rooted religious and cultural beliefs are most often the barriers to expanding girls' educational opportunities in undeveloped countries around the world.
Did you know that:
In parts of the Horn of Africa girls are abducted for marriage, causing them to be reluctant to walk the far distances to get to school?
Throughout the Sahel region of Africa and parts of the Middle East, a dowry system, often promoting that girls leave their studies, is still in place?
The AIDS crisis in Southern Africa and Asia drives many young women, little more than children themselves, to become heads of families, become involved in child trafficking and drop out of school?
In parts of Latin America, girls and women from indigenous areas have little opportunity to learn to read and write?
Despite these conditions, there is much desire for change: Parents in even the poorest circumstances everywhere hope that their children will receive an education. Even though the barriers to education for girls in these countries are many, they are not insurmountable.
Understanding the barriers to girls' education in particular is key to launching our innovative approaches. Educating girls and women results in:
Healthier, better educated children and grandchildren;
Fewer maternal deaths and reductions in the under 5 mortality rate;
Delayed marriage and better parenting skills;
Improved literacy and numeracy skills leading to greater economic opportunities;
More skills and knowledge enhancing women's self esteem and the well being of families.