Forest Whitaker: ‘Every person has a right to learn and read’

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore uit magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris [...]

Academy award-winning actor and UN Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, Forest Whitaker, leads transformational work with young people in South Sudan. Top of his list of priorities: literacy. In this recent interview with UNESCO, Forest explains why youth literacy is so important – and particularly for young girls and women.

UNESCO: Promoting literacy and fostering lifelong learning 

Promoting literacy and fostering lifelong learning are the building blocks that we need in order to achieve [UNESCO’s] sustainable development goals and to facilitate peacebuilding more broadly. It’s impossible to make progress in reducing inequality, encouraging responsible consumption, or ensuring everyone lives healthy lives if people are not able to educate themselves.

The impact of our work so far has been really encouraging. Many of our classes are targeted toward women and girls, whose literacy rates in South Sudan especially are much lower than boys’ and men’s. In many countries, there is still a large gap in literacy rates between men and women. The total literacy gender gap around the world is about 7 percentage points. This is something we must work to correct. It’s important that every woman and man has a voice and can express her or his thoughts and needs, and this is all the more imperative for those living in the midst of poverty, conflict, or violence. Too often, these vulnerable people are not heard.

 

“The impact of our work so far has been really encouraging. Many of our classes are targeted toward women and girls, whose literacy rates in South Sudan especially are much lower than boys’ and men’s. In many countries, there is still a large gap in literacy rates between men and women. The total literacy gender gap around the world is about 7 percentage points. This is something we must work to correct.”

Forest Whitaker, Academy award-winning actor and UN Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation

Improving literacy rates among people in conflict situations will not only better allow them to take part in these discussions, but it will also let them communicate, share ideas, and organize amongst each other. Together, they can be a powerful force for change. Every person—regardless of origin, gender or country—has a right to learn to read. The international community has to commit to leave no one behind, especially when it comes to literacy.

3 Comments

  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore etoio dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate.

    1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore etoio dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore etoio dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate.

Leave your comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter comment.