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U.S. State Department Nominates ProLiteracy for 2012 UNESCO Literacy Prize


U.S. State Department Nominates ProLiteracy for 2012 UNESCO Literacy Prize

The U.S. National Commission to UNESCO, an advisory body to the U.S. State Department, has nominated ProLiteracy’s international women and literacy program to be the recipient of UNESCO’s 2012 International Literacy Prize. Awarded annually on International Literacy Day September 8, the prize recognizes innovative literacy programs that “promote dynamic literate societies.” The 2012 prize is focused on literacy and peace.

“We are deeply honored to be nominated for the International Literacy Prize,” says David C. Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “The nomination is a testament to the work of our dedicated and passionate staff and partners who every day make a profound difference in the lives of women and families around the world.”

“ProLiteracy has helped more than two million of the world’s poorest women in 65 developing countries gain skills and confidence to change their worlds,” says Alesha Anderson, international programs manager. “Programs provide women with literacy skills to help them understand and take advantage of local protective laws in such areas as the rights to education, property ownership, divorce, gender abuse, and employment discrimination.”

“The overwhelming majority of people who struggle with basic literacy skills in the developing world are women and girls. Educating women means you are also educating families and in turn, helping to develop sustainable communities free of conflict and war,” says Eric Woodard, executive director of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. “We are pleased to nominate ProLiteracy for this prestigious prize.”

UNESCO, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, awards Literacy Prizes annually that “support effective literacy practices and encourage the promotion of dynamic literate societies.” The selection of prize winners is made by an international jury appointed by UNESCO’s Director-General. The Prize is awarded at an official ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on International Literacy Day, September 8.


ProLiteracy is one of the world’s largest and oldest organizations that advances the cause of adult literacy and basic education. Headquartered in Syracuse, NY with an office in Washington, DC, ProLiteracy supports the work of 1,100 member organizations throughout the U.S. and 50 partners in 31 developing countries. For more information, go to

ProLiteracy was nominated for its program titled, “Women in Literacy: Advancing Peace and Security in High-Conflict Settings.” The program works with partners in Pakistan, West Bank/Gaza, India, Egypt, Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa.

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