6 year old Amilia, revising with her sister Kalena at home. Photo Credit: Majority World via Getty Images

Society Sub-Saharan Africa7. September 2021

More and More Women Can Read and Write in This Region

Sub-Saharan African countries have seen female literacy progress steadily over the last five decades, an empowering step towards unlocking a human capital that positively affects all aspects of society.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization stipulates that “literacy is also a driver for sustainable development, in that it enables greater participation in the labor market; improved child and family health and nutrition; reduces poverty and expands life opportunities.”

According to the World Bank, literacy is the ability to “read and write with understanding a short simple statement about their everyday life.” From 2000 to 2019, adult female literacy in sub-Saharan Africa went from 46.8% to 58.8%. As for female youths, the literary rate reaches 72%, only 7% behind male youths. To top it off, the best progress in female youth literacy rates are found in Botswana (99% in 2013), Cabo Verde (99% in 2015), and Equatorial Guinea (98% in 2010).

Borgen Magazine

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