The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated September 8th as International Literacy Day. Intended to raise awareness for the one in five adults who are not literate as well as the 75 million children who are not in school.
The day was designated in 1965 and celebrated for the first time the year after. Many events are held though out the world in hopes that people will begin to see this as a real issue. Literacy impacts peoples lives in so many ways and the lack of it can be a major factor in the quality of life a person leads. Not only does the ability to read impact what a person is able to do for a living or what entertainment they may be able to enjoy but things such as medicine, directions from government or charity organizations and even laws.
There are even those who intentionally keep literacy from people, keeping them subject to authority they can not know how to oppose. With two thirds of those lacking literacy being women, this subject has huge implications for the rights of women all around the world.
While those who are able to read this also have access to the vast resources of the internet and all the good it can bring it may seem unimaginable how crippling the inability to read can be. It is we those who have this amazing power of literacy that must help those that it has been denied to because ironically the ones this day is set aside for are those who will not know.