Educate girls, Indian novelist tells conference
9 October 2007, Frankfurt (dpa) - Educating girls is a key to the worldwide fight against illiteracy, Indian novelist and retired diplomat Shashi Tharoor told a conference Tuesday on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
9 October 2007
Frankfurt (dpa) - Educating girls is a key to the worldwide fight against illiteracy, Indian novelist and retired diplomat Shashi Tharoor told a conference Tuesday on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
"If you educate a boy, you educate one person. If you educate a girl, you educate a whole family," said Tharoor, who is a former UN under-secretary-general and heads a Dubai-based business.
Three-quarters of the world's adult illiterates lived in just 12 nations of the world, mainly in South Asia, the Middle East and other Arab nations and Africa, the conference was told.
The October 10-14 book fair, the world's biggest annual book marketplace, mounts an annual meeting on how to use books to help encourage literacy, which in turn is essential for continued book sales.
Adama Ouane, director of the Paris-based UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning, said 774 million adults, or one fifth of those on the planet, could not read. The ability to read was a human right, he said.
Illiteracy is a smaller but significant problem in western nations too. The conference was told that 4 million Germans out of a population of 82 million were not familiar enough with reading to understand a newspaper article or filling out a form correctly.
Subject: German news