How Does Literacy Impact Women in Poverty?
Literacy has been labeled a great miracle cure for women in poverty. According to a GFA World special report, “Worldwide, entire villages with increasing levels of literacy are making social and economic gains when even just a small percentage of the villagers learn to read and write. Much data … gives good cause to make the assumption that learning to read and write is one of the ‘great miracle cures.’”1
GFA World offers literacy classes for women in Asia. In just one year, GFA missionaries taught 61,880 women how to read and write.2 Prior to these classes, the participants couldn’t read warning labels, contracts, street signs, maps or God’s Word. In GFA literacy classes, women learn to read and write. They also learn basic math skills so they can understand prices in the market and will be less likely to be taken advantage of.
Once these women are literate, they are able to provide for their families in ways they couldn’t before. With their newfound literacy skills, they are qualified for more jobs and not limited to manual labor and domestic duties.
Literate mothers parent differently, too. They can read to their children and help them with their schoolwork. Literate parents see the benefit of keeping their children in school, rather than sending them into the workforce before completing their education.
Often, one of the greatest joys of literacy for these women is the ability to read and study God’s Word. They can learn of God’s love for them and study His words on their own. Spiritual literacy is life-changing as well!
“To become literate is exactly what miracle cures are about. It is an intellectual healing, the acquisition of incalculable capabilities and the establishment of approval from others and from oneself. To be able to read and write is a gift of immeasurable worth. It is, indeed, a miracle cure.”3
1 Mains, Karen Burton. “Literacy: One of the Great Miracle Cures.” GFA World. 3 September 2019. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/literacy-miracle-cure-illiteracy/.
2 “Women’s Literacy Program.” GFA World. Accessed 12 February 2022. https://www.gfa.org/women/literacy/.
3 Mains, Karen Burton. “Literacy: One of the Great Miracle Cures.” GFA World. 3 September 2019. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/literacy-miracle-cure-illiteracy/.