KATHMANDU: More than 40 per cent of girls and women in Nepal cannot read and write, according to United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
In a press statement, the UNESCO office in Kathmandu said 43 out of 100 girls and women in the country are illiterate. It pointed that many of them will never be able to learn the larger literacy skills that are necessary in the 21st century. It said 65.9 per cent of Nepal’s population is literate.
The office said 84 per cent of the population worldwide can read and write. It further pointed that Nepal’s millions of illiterates are among the country’s most vulnerable people.
The fact that they cannot read and write is one of the root causes of their exclusion, the office said.
“They must therefore be in the focus of attention of the government and international development partners.”
Nepal will observe the International Literacy Day on September 8 by highlighting the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies.
The motto of the day this year is ‘Literacies for the 21st century’.
“Literacy is the basic right and an essential motor for human development. It paves the way for autonomy, acquisition of skills, cultural expression and full participation in society,” reads the UNESCO statement.
The office noted that literacy was the key for acquiring all skills that are the foundations of modern society, knowledge, interpersonal skills, expertise and the ability to live together in communities.
In his message issued on the occasion, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said, “Literacy is much more than an educational priority – it is the ultimate investment in the future as it is the first step towards all the new forms of literacy required in the 21st