Global illiteracy is still a major issue in the 21st century with 774 million illiterate adults (people over the age of 15) all over the world.
493 million (two-thirds) of those illiterate adults are women. This discrepancy is shocking to many of us but it is one that needs to be addressed.
Back in 2010 the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation director-general, Irina Bokova, said: “newly literate women have a positive ripple effect on all development indicators”. Teaching women to read has a great positive affect on the development of themselves, their family and their community.
Katy Newell-Jones of Feed the Minds supports Bokova’s comments by adding: “On its own, literacy neither saves lives nor fills hungry mouths. However, we encounter women’s literacy time and time again as a valuable component in women’s empowerment. A woman who is able to keep her own business records is more likely to be able to manage her income and expenditure; and the children of a literate mother are more likely to complete their education.”
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education report on women’s right to literacy insists on an holistic approach to literacy education. It is more effective to teach reading and writing while linking it to practical and useful skills: “Literacy learning is particularly effective when it is linked to, integrated with or embedded in other learning. Such approaches produce stronger outcomes in both literacy and vocational education and training. Women who want to be successful traders, efficient farmers, contribute to school governance and rear healthy children must be equipped with the necessary, associated literacy skills.”
Check out the BBC video below for further insight into the global literacy problem.
To Kill a Mockingbird is an iconic text, exploring race relations in the Deep South. For years it’s been a pivotal text used by schools, but we heard little about the author. Deeply private, Harper Lee preferred to stay out of the limelight but since her death it seems her estate has been rarely out of the news.
One woman from the UK discovered the perfect response when she was aboard a bus in her city. As the bus was very crowded, tempers were a little frayed, and one man allowed his aggression to get the better of him. Instead of asking the woman to keep her elbows in or tuck her book in a bit to make more room for others, he instead decided it was appropriate to call her a “fucking bitch”.
What book lover Jennifer Cairns did next was fantastically appropriate and a wonderfully gracious- she started reading aloud.
“How To Stop Time” by Matt Haig is the story of Tom Hazzard, who looks like an ordinary 41 year old, but due to a rare condition, he has been alive for hundreds of years. During these long centuries he has performed with Shakespeare, sailed to far off “new” lands with Captain Cook, and met and shared cocktails with The Fitzgeralds. Read More
The article in question mocked students who studied Frankenstein, who had correctly reflected on how the monster created by Dr Frankenstein was a misunderstood and sympathetic figure. A screenshot of the ignorant Tweet was saved (see right). Their article and the Tweet promoting it have since been deleted, but not before it was roundly trolled by those of us who had dared to read the book and understand its themes.
Sixteen books were picked for the longlist by the judging panel, honouring both new and well-established writers, including six debut novels.
The Chair of the Judges is Sarah Sands, Editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme who said:
“The longlist came out of a Chequers style meeting where different views were accommodated and peace reigned, at least for now. What is striking about the list, apart from the wealth of talent, is that women writers refuse to be pigeon-holed. We have searing social realism, adventure, comedy, poetic truths, ingenious plots and unforgettable characters. Women of the world are a literary force to be reckoned with.”
Witherspoon featured the book in her September book club pick and soon afterward her production company, Hello Sunshine quickly picked up the rights to the adaptation. The show will be produced in conjunction with ABC Signature Studios and Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street. Read More