Literacy professionals from around the world will gather at UNESCO headquarters to share their experiences about women, literacy and sustainable development on 24 February.
Literacy is crucial for economic development, social development and environmental protection, yet almost 800 million adults, two thirds of whom are women, are not literate.
Panellists will focus on two topics:
* Women’s literacy that enables better participation in economic, social and political life; and
* Women’s literacy that promotes the education of children (including health education and HIV/AIDS)
A complimentary exhibition of photographs showcasing portraits of women from around the world is being held at UNESCO headquarters this week (20-24 February).
Women constitute the largest majority of illiterate adults, with around 500 million of them presently illiterate. This situation is particularly worrisome in that it increases their vulnerability and the likelihood that their daughters may not receive an education.
By means of this photo exhibition of women from all continents, together with a Roundtable, UNESCO hopes to demonstrate the dire need to provide all adults with equal access to educational programmes.
In the framework of the promotion of gender parity and equality and the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012), the Section for Literacy and Non-Formal Education and the Section for Primary Education are organizing a roundtable discussion on “Women’s Literacy for Sustainable Development”. In line with the objectives of the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE), this roundtable is being organized in partnership with Intervida World Alliance (INWA), an international network of non-governmental organizations working particularly in favor of women’s empowerment.
The roundtable provides a unique forum to exchange experiences among male and female literacy workers from different continents. The variety of panelists (literacy workers in the field, representatives from Ministries of Education, etc.) provides a wide array of testimonies focusing on two sub-themes:
- Literacy for women towards better participation in economic, social and political life;
- Literacy for women to promote child education, particularly girls (including
health education and HIV/AIDS).
This roundtable aims to raise public awareness on the importance of women’s literacy for sustainable development, to share experiences on literacy for women’s empowerment, and to analyze the importance of developing literacy skills for underprivileged women in order for them to exercise their rights and fulfill their roles as effective citizens in society. The sharing of experiences will pave the way for a deeper reflection to find ways and means to make women’s right to education, a reality.
A photo exhibition showcasing portraits of women from all continents will take place from 20 to 24 February 2006 in the Salle des Pas Perdus.
Contact : Florence Migeon and Namtip Aksornkool