In marginalized communities around the world, illiteracy and poverty are inextricably linked. There are 750 million adults globally who cannot read and write, two-thirds of this population are women.1 For over six decades, ProLiteracy has worked in partnership with educators and local non-governmental organizations around the world where the majority of learners served are women. As women gain listening, speaking, reading, writing, and math skills, they are able to gain the perspective and confidence they need to solve local issues and pursue their own goals. Literacy becomes a catalyst for learning, action, and problem solving that unites communities.
With support from Lancôme Mexico, ProLiteracy’s local Mexican partner, Proyectos Laubach de Alfabetización en Mexico, A.C., (PLAMAC), is implementing a women’s literacy program serving women in rural communities in the state of Guanajuato as part of the global Write Her Future campaign. The latest figures from UNESCO indicate there are 4.3 million adults older than 15 in Mexico who cannot read or write, women account for 61 percent of the population that cannot read. In the State of Guanajuato, six out of every 100 women over 15 years old cannot read or write. The literacy program will equip women with basic reading and writing skills they need to utilize literacy as a means to reach their goals, improve their livelihoods, and overcome poverty. Literacy materials are tailored to reflect specific issues and cultural perspectives of the women in the program. Now in its second year, the program is bringing visibility to the issue of low literacy in the region, and it is providing a model for expansion to reach communities in the suburban area of Irapuato, the second most populated city in the state of Guanajuato. With this expansion, the program hopes to join efforts to address the problem of educational gap that affects 915,710 women in the State of Guanajuato.