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 Gender parity among literate adults 

Globally literacy rates have been rising over time, but women still make up the majority of illiterate adults in every region except Central Asia.


UIS data for reference year 2013 indicate that women account for 479 million of the global adult illiterate population. The greatest gaps in literacy rates are found in the Arab States (86% male vs. 70% female adult literacy rate), South and West Asia (77% vs. 58%), and sub-Saharan Africa (68% vs. 52%).


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The gender parity index (GPI) measures progress towards parity by showing 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 disparity against men.


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View the complete UNESCO eAtlas of Literacy in English, French and Spanish

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