Empower women through literacy

Poor and undereducated women are particularly marginalized as a group, and are at risk for poverty, domestic abuse, poor health, and gender inequality. Of the 36 million adults in the U.S. who have low literacy skills, 65 percent of them are women. We need to raise awareness of how literacy can empower women to find their voice, be strong, and get educated.


Women across the globe with low literacy face many challenges every single day. From child brides and incarceration to poverty and sex trafficking, many of these issues can be lessened and resolved through literacy. These are the challenges:

Did you know that 1 in 3 girls in the developing world are married before 18, and 1 in 9 are married before the age of 15?

Did you know that over half of sex trafficked women and children have little to no literacy skills?

Did you know that gaining literacy skills can help people keep their children out of child labor?

Did you know that literacy makes women five times more likely to prevent and stop the spread of infectious diseases, and to seek medical help when they need it?

Did you know that one additional year in school can increase a woman’s earnings by 10 percent to 20 percent over a lifetime?

Did you know that inmates who improve their literacy skills are 43 percent less likely to return to prison?

Did you know that one in three women are victims of physical or sexual violence, and literacy can help to break the cycle of violence?

Did you know that less than 40 percent of countries provide girls and boys with equal access to education?

Did you know that infant mortality decreases 9 percent for every year of education a woman attains?

Did you know that breaking the cycle of illiteracy and improving self-esteem is crucial for women’s empowerment?

This infornation is provided by ProLiteracy – the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation. To learn more, and to find how you can help Empower Women Through Literacy, visit www.proliteracy.org.

Literacy Volunteers of Randolph County, an affiliate of ProLiteracy, offers free help with basic reading and writing skills to adults sixteen and older. The Literacy Volunteers office is located at the YMCA in Elkins. For more information, call 304 636-4515. If there is no one in the office, leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.