Gg
G = Gender Equality. Two-thirds of the 757 million people who cannot read or write are women. Explore the Alphabet of Illiteracy

...is for Gender Equality

Research shows that being able to read and write empowers women. But two thirds of the 757 million people who cannot read or write are women. In some places almost 9 in 10 women are illiterate. This robs them of their self-esteem and social and economic independence. Literacy can help create equality between the sexes.


UNESCO (2006) / Library of Congress (2014)

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How our partners have helped.

The Afghan Women’s Resource Centre (AWRC) strives to improve the quality of life for women all across Afghanistan, supported by international women’s rights organisation, Womankind Worldwide. They run a range of political training and adult literacy classes, aiming to support women to play an active role in their communities. Literacy courses enable women to participate in local council meetings and read important documents. As a result, more women are empowered to work in local government, take on leadership roles and have a say in policy-making, laying the foundations for greater equality.

The Afghan Women’s Resource Centre (AWRC) strives to improve the quality of life for women all across Afghanistan, supported by international women’s rights organisation, Womankind Worldwide. They run a range of political training and adult literacy classes, aiming to support women to play an active role in their communities. Literacy courses enable women to participate in local council meetings and read important documents. As a result, more women are empowered to work in local government, take on leadership roles and have a say in policy-making, laying the foundations for greater equality.

Marwa and her sister spent years in Pakistan as refugees, fleeing the constant fighting in Afghanistan after their parents died in a flood.

Returning to Afghanistan, after some of the conflict had died down, Marwa and her sister moved in with their Uncle for support. However, just after they moved in, the rest of their Uncle’s family began to give them ‘problems’ eventually stopping their financial support.

Forced to move out, she and her sister now live in a single room in Kabul. Her sister sells embroidery at the market, as that is one of the few livelihoods available to a woman.

It is very difficult and unsafe for unmarried women to live alone in the strictly patriarchal society. Between physical threats and a lack of any job prospects, they experience a great deal of day-to-day trauma.

Marwa’s sister was the first to hear about the courses run by the Afghan Women’s Resource Centre (AWRC), a partner of Womankind Worldwide. She encouraged Marwa to take part in the courses and begin an education.

Thanks to AWRC, Marwa can now read and write, and attends classes. She has learned about her rights as a woman and a Muslim, and now spreads the knowledge she had gained throughout the community.

AWRC has also provided her and her sister with a support group to discuss and solve their problems, and has been able to get in contact with the Police Security Department, who will now offer them some protection and security in their lives.

Now, with sustained support from Womankind and AWRC, Marwa is continuing her education and planning to find herself and her sister a job.

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The Afghan Women’s Resource Centre strives to improve the quality of life for women all across Afghanistan,
We are working at the village level so we can bring women to CDC (Community Development Council) elections. Mostly when you see CDCs – women don't have the senior positions. They are not the director, they are the secretary or assistant. We want to bring them first to that level of director at the community level. Then they can go to province-level elections.
Maryam Rahmani, country representative for – AWRC
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