For International Literacy Day, Training Centre in Communications (TCC Africa) and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) converged for a webinar, highlighting key insights and discussions on literacy and gender equality in the Global South
Despite significant progress in global literacy rates over the past five decades, there remains a sobering reality: an estimated 773 million adults worldwide still grapple with illiteracy. Notably, women continue to bear the brunt of illiteracy, representing two-thirds of the 773 million adults (aged 15 and older) who are unable to read or write. Among youth, 123 million grapple with illiteracy, and a substantial 76 million of them are female. In spite of the overall reduction in the global illiterate population, the proportion of women among them has remained consistently high, hovering between 63% to 64%. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics recently released the Global Education Monitoring Report for 2023, which provides a vivid depiction of this challenge. It reveals that while the global adult literacy rate has increased by 1 percentage point (87%), progress has been more substantial in Central and Southern Asia (73%), and sub-Saharan Africa (64%). However, the latter region saw an increase of 9 million illiterate adults.
Against this backdrop and in commemoration of International Literacy Day (ILD), Training Centre in Communications (TCC Africa) and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) converged for a webinar, exploring strategies to combat illiteracy and promote gender equality in education in the Global South. The webinar featured speakers from OWSD chapters in Zambia, Kenya, and Jordan, each contributing their insights into these issues and highlighting initiatives within their chapters that are making tangible changes in their communities.
Meet the speakers
Dr. Awelani Mutshembele- Specialist Scientist at South African Medical Research Council, TB Platform and EXCO member of OWSD South Africa chapter.
Wezi Nyimbili- Aerospace Engineer and lecturer at the Copperbelt University, Chair of the OWSD Zambia chapter.
Dr. Rana Dajani- associate professor of biology and biotechnology at the Hashemite University in Jordan, OWSD Jordan chapter.
Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)
The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World is an international organization that provides research training, career development and networking opportunities for women scientists throughout the developing world at different stages in their career.
Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa)
Training Centre in Communication(TCC Africa), is the first African-based training centre to teach effective communication skills to scientists. TCC Africa is an award-winning Trust, established as a non-profit entity in 2006 and is registered in Kenya. TCC Africa provides capacity support in improving researchers’ output and visibility through training in scholarly and science communication.