Poetry fights illiteracy among Yemeni women [Archives:2004/711/Local News]

February 12 2004

Hassan Al-Zaidi
The Social Fund for Development (SFD) has pledged to continue its efforts in cooperation with international organizations such as UNESCO to eradicate illiteracy among Yemeni women.
According to a recent survey result released by UNESCO, at least 75 per cent of Yemeni women are completely illiterate.
The efforts of the SFD will concentrate on using poetry to help especially rural women.
Reasons behind the success of such a method is attributed mainly to the fact that Yemeni women have an instinct of love for singing and telling poems, enabling them to quickly learn how to pronounce words and letters, and with little assistance, be able to read and write basic Arabic.
Exact figures of illiteracy rates are not known, but it is predicted that 80% of Yemeni females and 50% of Yemeni males are illiterate.
This rate is among the highest in the world.