More than 66% of the 875 million illiterate people in the world are women.
2/3 of the children excluded from the educational system are little girls.
The number of unschooled children of primary school age has dropped from 103 million in 1999 to 73 million in 2006. (Source: UNICEF)
Education is one of the main ways to help children and adults escape poverty.
Exercising the right to education is crucial in order to enjoy a number of other human rights: the right to work, to health, to participate in politics, etc.
Access to education is a fundamental human right essential to economic and social progress, as well as a vital tool to reach the objective of gender equality.
Despite the progress recorded, a gap persists between men and women in terms of access to education. The fight against women's and girls' illiteracy is a global priority. According to the UNESCO's statistics directory, two thirds of the 875 million illiterate people are women. In South-East Asia, 3 out of 5 women are illiterate, similarly to one out of two women in Africa and in the Arab world.
Moreover, universal access to primary education is one of the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations.
Sources: UNESCO, United Nations