Sharing ideas and language with illiterate women: A challenge for print feminism

Miller, Stephanie
Date of publication: 
Mon, 1996-01-01

Further to the new knowledge regarding complex definitions of illiteracy, researchers have also begun to identify the
gendered nature of the literacy issue. Most statistics show that illiteracy is in fact, a gendered problem: twothirds of the
750 million nonliterate adults in the world are women ("Closing" 56). Within the North American context, though, there
are a relatively equal number of men and women who are illiterate. Nevertheless, even in North America, the
complexities surrounding illiteracy are most certainly genderspecific. Further, those complexities are directly related to
many of the issues central to the feminist movement. Those who are professionally involved in feminist literacy theory
and training (a growing discipline) recognize how poverty, violence against women, and childbearing are central to
illiteracy as cause and effect. Recognizing this interconnectedness of feminist issues and illiteracy is essential.