Scaling up literacy initiatives to reach more women
Around 100 delegates from 13 E-9, SAARC and LIFE countries attended an International Conference entitled “Achieving Literacy for All: Effective, innovative approaches to scale up literacy, reduce gender disparities and create a literate world”. They discussed innovative approaches to improving female literacy rates and issued several recommendations on how to accelerate literacy efforts before the Education for All (EFA) initiative expires in 2015, and on how to promote literacy in the post-2015 development agenda. The conference, which took place from 18–20 July 2013 in New Delhi, was jointly organised by India’s National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA), UNESCO Literacy Unit in HQ, the UNESCO Cluster Office in New Delhi, and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL).
In their presentations, UIL Director Arne Carlsen and Senior Programme Specialist Ulrike Hanemann emphasized the need to view literacy as a continuum and a foundation for lifelong learning. They presented Key Messages from the Global Report on Adult Learning and Education – GRALE 2, as well as UIL’s new research on good practices for reaching women, and a collection of gender case studies from its Effective Literacy Practises Database. Furthermore, based on the analysis of programmes and approaches that have empowered women in and through literacy, the Director of UIL suggested holding such literacy meetings every two years, and offered to take the initiative in developing a unified UNESCO concept of literacy, in consultation with Member States.