The project aims to raise interest amongst international agencies, especially those involved in girls' education, health programmes and skills development; to gain support from key international development agencies through this blog post, as well as engagement with international aid organisations, including DFID; and to secure changes to the ways in which women's learning and literacy is supported by shifts in policies, resourcing and programming.
Women’s Right to Literacy
Women's Right to Literacy will bring together the arguments to support women's literacy in the drive towards the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All. It will demonstrate that modest adjustments in policy, as well as in resource allocation, can provide greater impact on progress towards the goals and increased value for money for donor countries.
Over the last decade, international development policies relating to education have mostly focused on opening access to primary education for children. More recently, data has shown that girls are particularly under-represented, resulting in further investment by many development organisations, including the Department for International Development (DFID) to address this imbalance.
Given the strong focus on girls' education, NIACE and the Literacy Working Group - a small voluntary group of representatives of key organisations as well as experienced individuals - are advocating that a focus on women's literacy will help women, as well as donor countries, to get closer to their goals and ambitions.
The link between women's literacy and girls' education, their own health and that of their families, as well as their contributions to community and public life, are well documented.
What are we aiming to achieve?
How will we do this work?
An advocacy document, a number of blog posts and the involvement of Baroness Goudie as an advocate and supporter will help achieve the project's aims.
Organisations, agencies and networks will be invited to share their support and experiences online; the British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE) will be approached and offered a partnership; a number of events will be organised to engage key agencies and organisations in discussion and debate.
Who is this work for?
It is designed to help some of the most disadvantaged women in the world through the mobilisation of empowering and relevant policies and programmes.
What have we accomplished to date?
What is (or will be) the impact of this work?
This work will provide donor countries, agencies and organisations with a greater understanding of how adult learning is integrated with their priorities.
If relevant adjustments in policies and programmes related to women's literacy were made, it could benefit thousands of women, especially those in the 19 countries prioritised by DFID, which could then influence learning for women in other countries too.
Daughters and grand-daughters could benefit from better educated women in their lives, particularly in the drive to get girls to go to and stay in school. The health of women, their babies and families could benefit from greater understanding of health and sanitation. Women who are active in self-employment could benefit from greater control of their businesses.
Dr Janine Eldred (NIACE Associate and Chair of the Literacy Working Group)