How Literacy Changes The Lives of Women

May 14, 2011 by Gail Cavanaugh  
Published in Women

Women all over the world have had a history of inequality in employment opportunities, inability to adequately provide for their families, and restriction from the other resources which can help them to be self-sufficient. One of those resources is education.


When women receive an education, they are able to be more self-sufficient.  However, many of the world’s women are prevented from acquiring an education, engaging in employment, and owning property.  In the poorer countries, these opportunities are given to men instead of women.

Instead, the women must stay at home and care for the children.  If there is money to pay to send children to school, the boys are chosen first, because they have more earning power.  Sometimes children drop out of school in order to help support the families.  The children who drop out of school become illiterate as adults.

In countries such as Africa and some of the Caribbean countries, women are heads of household in almost fifty percent of the families.  However, they are still only allowed to grow subsistence crops instead of cash crops and they are denied access to training and education which could help them to be better providers for their families.

There are many literacy programs all over the world which are helping women today to change the course of their lives.  They are now able to acquire the training to apply for jobs, to go to school, and to start businesses.  Poor women are discovering that they need basic mathematics and reading skills in order to run their businesses. 

As women become involved in training and education, they are able to form ties with other women who are experiencing the same problems.  They often meet to share knowledge, information, and new skills.  They become empowered as they gain confidence, strengthen their relationships with one another, encourage one another, and learn to be more resourceful.

Poverty levels in the United States have increased and more and more women have become homeless as a result of the economic crisis.  These women need to acquire more skills, training and education to change their lifestyles.  Many do not understand the transition that society is experiencing from the industrial age to the digital age which requires new skills. 

Not only must women learn the new computer and communication skills, but they may need to learn how to be more tolerant toward people from other countries as companies become more multinational.  Basic reading and mathematics skills will help them to perform most of the entry level jobs.  They can then explore other opportunities for training after they secure entry level jobs so that they can progress to higher level jobs.

In conclusion, literacy will enable women to have a better quality of life and support their families.  Developing higher skills will enable them to perform their jobs better leading to  higher level jobs.       





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2 Responses to “How Literacy Changes The Lives of Women”
  1. mphsglo Says:

    Good Information!!!

  2. KittyK Says:

    This topic is so pathetic and totally wrong for any country. Education is essential to one’s being in order to make a good life and obtain a job or enter a career. We need to ensure all people can receive a proper education.

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