Literacy is the ability to read, write and communicate effectively. It gives all individuals, regardless of their gender, community or society, the power to connect and understand the complexities of the world. Women, who comprise half the world population, deserve special attention in enhancing literacy, owing to the historical inequities they have suffered through gender-based discrimination throughout history. UNESCO quantifies this gender gap in global literacy rates by indicating that only 82.7% of women worldwide are literate today, as compared to 86.3% of men. However, this gap widens more in poverty-ridden regions like South Asia and Africa and therefore requires careful assessment.
Literacy is the ability to read and write. More than that, it also grants access to knowledge and information in a broader sense. Literacy is empowerment, employability, security, and independence. It includes skillsets like digital and financial literacy, and it is an essential requirement for socio-economic development, self-determination, and effective participation in society and economy.