Mobile Phone Literacy – Empowering Women and Girls


Identification of factors for effectiveness and scaling up good practices

The Mobile Phone Literacy project was launched on 26 May 2011 on the occasion of the visit to UNESCO of Ms. Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of State. It is being implemented within the framework of the UNLD Fund and the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education. This project is made possible through the support from the United States government.

Why is the Mobile Phone Literacy project needed?

Women and girls constitute the majority of the 775 million illiterates in the world. One of the main reasons for low literacy rates is that neo-literates often tend to relapse into illiteracy after a basic literacy course. One reason is difficulty using the newly acquired skills due to the absence of meaningful and relevant reading materials. Another is loss of interest, sometimes coupled with economic constraints and a reluctant social context, particularly in the case of women.

Mobile phones are an attractive and affordable means to maintain literacy skills and to obtain information, and hold great potential for reaching marginalized girls and women and providing them with access to further learning and development.

To ensure that this innovative approach makes a real impact, it is important to start by understanding the factors and conditions which make mobile literacy projects effective and sustainable, with the aim of scaling up to a larger level.


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