Impact of the Young Adult Girls and Elderly Women Literacy program In DR-Congo

by admin on November 9, 2010

Mennonite Brethren Women of Mateba, Kinshasa, Ngaba

By: Fidele Ayu Lumeya

The United Nations establishes a correlation between women literacy and the decrease in fertility rate. The study shows that the number of literate women correlates directly to the drop in fertility rates. Furthermore, the report establishes a correlation between women’s literacy programs and the democratic process. Literate women are more knowledgeable about their rights and they make better choices when casting ballots. A study in Kerala, India has also established a correlation between the success of micro loans and women’s literacy programs.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is coming out of a long and deadly war which has negatively impacted the education of, mainly young adult girls and elderly women. Many women have been victims of rape, and also are in refugees’ camps, or have been internally displaced mainly those from Eastern Congo. Thus, those who began learning to read and write have been unable to graduate. Chances are that they won’t have any opportunities to see their dreams come true , as those in the remaining of the country.

James Martin wrote in his recent book, The Meaning of the 21st Century. He wrote, “…When women become educated, they seek out interesting jobs and contribute to the economy, and women with interesting careers tend to marry later in life and have fewer children… It’s a no-brainer to give women in society basic education…”

                                                          The Dem. Rep. of Congo has a population of 68,692.542. 55% are women and 45%of them are illiterate. Our hope that the local initiatives will be encouraged to eradicate illiteracy as it has been in places like Kerala, India. A South-South exchange can be planned and implemented. Such exchange can be done through bilateral cooperation between the Indian and Congo governments or through International Non Governmental Organizations and local Non Governmental Organizations Network. The INGOS having presence in both India and Congo can facilitate this learning together exchange by facilitating a trip to India of women literacy program staffs selected by their local Congolese groups.

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