Literacy supports sustainable development: UNESCO

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Students attend class in a newly painted classroom at a public school in Bamako, Mali. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Literacy is one of the key elements needed to promote sustainable development, according to the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

On Monday, International Literacy Day is being celebrated worldwide, under the theme of "Literacy and Sustainable Development."

UNESCO says that literacy empowers people so they can make the right decisions in the areas of economic growth, social development and environmental integration.

In Dhaka, the Government of Bangladesh and the UN are organizing an international conference on girls' and women's literacy and education.

Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Director-General, says newly literate women have a positive effect on all development indicators.

For example, the agency estimates that if all mothers had primary education, there would be 15 per cent less child deaths throughout the world.

UNESCO points out that in 2014 nearly 16 per cent of the world's population is illiterate, of which 64 per cent are women.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations

Duration: 1’06″

 

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