Costs of illiteracy "enormous"

literacy

There are still millions of people around the world, especially women and girls who cannot read and write.

That's the message of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to mark "International Literacy Day" which is being celebrated on 8 September.

Charles Appel reports.

The Secretary-General said that in 2009, roughly two thirds of the world's estimated 793 illiterate adults were female.

He said the costs of illiteracy are enormous because it worsens cycles of poverty, ill health and deprivation.

 Mr Ban stressed that this year's commemoration of International Literacy day under the theme "Literacy and Peace" is an important reminder of the critical tasks of preventing violence and ending conflicts.

Charles Appel, United Nations.

Duration:  31″

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