A quick review of the most recent available evidence available on the links between women’s literacy and: maternal health; reproductive behaviour and daughter education. With a particular interest in the impact of interventions after formal schooling.
Development agencies have found two predictable indicators for longevity among women in developing countries: accessible clean water and literacy skills. Of the 1 billion illiterate people in the world, two thirds of them are women. Literate women average 2 children per family while illiterate women give birth to 6–8 children.
- Educated women are more likely to use health clinics and return to the clinic if their children’s health does not improve.
- Educated women tend to begin their families at a later age and have fewer, healthier children.
- A 1% rise in women’s literacy is 3 times more likely to reduce deaths in children than a 1% rise in the number of doctors.
- For women, 4 to 6 years of education led to a 20% drop in infant deaths.
- Women with more education generally have better personal health and nutrition.
- The families of women with some education tend to have better housing, clothing, income, water, and sanitation.
- Mother’s literacy has greater impact on the chances of daughters being educated than sons.
The report includes sections on the following areas:
- Women’s Literacy and Health
- Maternal Health
- Reproductive Health
- Daughter Education