International Literacy Day - September 8, 2020

Basic Literacy

What is International Literacy Day?

International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on September 8, is an opportunity for governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world’s remaining literacy challenges.  

Around the world, nearly 800 million people are illiterate in their own languages. Two-thirds of those who can’t read are women.  Over fifty years ago, UNESCO designated International Literacy Day every September 8, as an annual event to rally the international community around a great cause — literacy. 

Literacy is incredibly vital to every human endeavor. Most importantly, if the adults can’t read, who will help and support the children as they strive towards success?  International Literacy Day is your chance to be a positive force for change through education and awareness.

Literacy Education and the Current Pandemic

Imagine living through the current pandemic without the ability to read. You would miss out on important information that could protect you and your loved ones. You would not only miss out on those great stories and histories that we have come to enjoy through books, but you would also be completely dependent on oral communication. This is the truth of millions of adults and young people all over the world. The pandemic has halted literacy education programs all over the world and we need to transform education in a way that literacy education can continue. Please watch this short video from UNESCO about Teaching and Learning in Literacy Education and how it must change.

To join the Q&A / Chat, go to this link at 7PM on Wednesday, August 26, 2020:

Discussion Questions:

(1) Are women politically equal to men in 2020? Why or why not? How do you know?

(2) Some people argue that women are politically equal to men as long as there are not any laws that specifically limit or restrict women’s rights. In other words, they argue that when laws that limited rights on the basis of sex end, this means that women and men become politically equal. Do you agree? Why or why not?

(3) There are lots of differences among women (money, education, race, etc.). In spite of these differences, do you think that there are some concerns that women have (as a group) that men are less likely to have? Why or why not? If you do think there are concerns that are different for women and men, what are they?

(4) In 1920, the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution ended restrictions on voting on the basis of sex. One century later, the U.S. Congress is still not representative of women in the population; just under 25% of Congresspeople are women. Do you think that women’s lower presence in national office is a problem? Why or why not?

Muncy Public Library Resources:

The Moment of lift: How empowering women changes the world by Melinda Gates – A Nonfiction book covering topics from empowering mothers to unpaid work and women in the workplace.

Before she was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome – This Children’s book introduces children to the life of Harriet Tubman, who became a face for freedom and equality.

American duchess: A novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt by Karen Harper – This fiction book reimagines the life of the American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt.

Battle of the Sexes (DVD) – During the rise of the Women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs became one of the most watched games. However, each player faced more complex issues than just a tennis game.

Additional Resources and Reading Suggestions: