The head of Iran’s Literacy Movement Organization (ILMO) says nearly 2 million women across the country are illiterate.
Citing Ali Baqirzadeh, state-run Iran Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported, “Nearly 1,800,000 women still suffer from illiteracy across Iran.”
According to Baqirzadeh, the total number of 10- to 49-year-olds who are illiterate in Iran is nearly 2.7 million.
However, Baqirzadeh maintained that the illiteracy gap between men and women in Iran has narrowed in recent years and said the current gap amounts to 12%.
The head of the ILMO said the percentage of illiterate women in Iran’s villages is much higher than in urban areas, while in some of the provinces the rate is above 30%.
The rate of illiteracy in Iran has never been reliably reported as different authorities present different statistics.
In summer 2017, Baqirzadeh told the IRGC-run Fars news agency that there were nearly 9 million totally illiterate persons living in Iran.
Earlier, Baqirzadeh had announced that efforts were under way to eradicate illiteracy by the end of the Fifth National Development Plan (2015).
“Improving literacy is not only a cultural and educational move but also impacts all sections of society,” he said.
Baqirzadeh had also noted a “meaningful link” between illiteracy and crime, saying that as the number of educated people increases, the crime rate declines.
According to UNESCO, illiteracy increases the likelihood of remaining in poverty. Completing 12 years of school provides an 80 percent chance of earning an income high enough to escape the poverty cycle.
Adult illiteracy not only affects income and awareness of rights but also contributes to poor nutrition and health.