Young women make the strongest gains, but lag behind young men
Among the youth population, female literacy rates have been rising quickly, equipping young women with the skills needed to fully participate in daily life and find decent work. Nonetheless, three out of five youths lacking basic reading and writing skills are young women. In some countries, youth literacy rates for young women have remained persistently low - the result of continued exclusion from education.
The gender parity index (GPI) shows the ratio of female and male literacy rates. Gender parity is reached with a GPI between 0.97 and 1.03. A GPI below 0.97 indicates gender disparity against women, while a GPI above 1.03 indicates a disparity against men.
Literacy among youth is rising more quickly in countries with growing economies
Data indicate that increased literacy rates correlate with a decrease in the share of the population living in poverty, i.e. on less than $2 per day, particularly among youth. Rising GDP per capita is associated with higher youth literacy rates because children in wealthier societies are more likely to attend school. As the chart below illustrates, the youth literacy rate in Indonesia has increased from 85% to 99% since 1980, in step with a significant increase in GDP per capita.