I do not know how I would survive if I could not read or write. For me this is not only an absolute necessity for daily life and work but it is a recreation and a joy.
I discovered reading early, crawling behind the sofa and pulling out the books in the bookcase. As far as I can remember reading came naturally to me, but then it was encouraged and taught by my parents and teachers. I enjoyed writing from a young age and even started writing my first (and only) novel when I was 8. Yes, I definitely count literacy as a great blessing.
The Christian Aid 'Count Your Blessings' calendar today tells me that two-thirds of the the world's 799 million illiterate adults are women. As an example, in Afghanistan only 43% of the men are literate, but a mere 13% of women. That is shocking and contributes to women's powerlessness.
Christian Aid works with partners like STARS to provide literacy courses for women as well as other provision to improve women's education and health in Afghanistan.
Christian Aid today suggests giving 5p for all the women in your family who have attended secondary school. There are no women in my family who have not attended secondary school and most have completed tertiary education in college or university as well. That's a privilege that millions of illiterate women of today's world can only dream about. Now I just have to decide how big to draw the family circle to count the women. I think I'll stick to those still living.
Image: morgueFile free photo