First established by the United Nations more than 50 years ago, International Literacy Day is marked each year on 8th September to promote literacy as a human right, an essential skill, and a tool for empowering individuals and their communities.

The life-changing power of literacy

Being able to read is a skill that many of us take for granted. It is something we use every day from a young age - it is a skill you're using right now.

As children, we lose ourselves in books and our imagination grows. But being able to read is more than a joyful pastime. It is a skill that can transform lives.

Reading helps us to develop. It enables us to learn about the world around us and empowers us to contribute to it.

But today, literacy rates show that just 43% of adults in Afghanistan have the ability to read and write. Unsurprisingly, women make up a huge portion of this - it is estimated that around 70% of adult women in Afghanistan are illiterate.

The wide-reaching importance of literacy

For millions of Afghan women in poverty, not being able to read or write means more than not enjoying books or not being able to write their names. It drastically impacts their quality of life.

Women across the country are unable to read medicine bottles, food labels or help their children with their homework. They are unable to contribute to their family's income, or participate in decisions about their communities and families. A lack of education robs them of opportunities to flourish and keeps them trapped in poverty.

Literacy skills are a vital stepping stone for women to set up their own home-based businesses, enabling them to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. 

As well as improving their quality of life, gaining an education empowers women to be able to identify issues and come up with solutions to the issues facing their communities. A lack of education is a waste of this potential.

How we help to educate

Afghanaid's education schemes provide essential resources, space and teachers for illiterate women to complete basic literacy courses. This scheme helps women like Rahima to receive an education which empowers them to succeed, support their families and participate in public life.

How you can help

You can contribute to this scheme today and help a vulnerable woman receive a life-changing education. Please support the education of women in poverty by setting up a monthly gift.


When you give, you help provide:

Classes and supplies

Textbooks, teacher training, and education courses.

A stepping stone to a brighter future

Vocational training, financial training, and business development training. 

Literacy skills development is important for the healthy development of each and every person, and for the sustainable development of communities, entire countries and the world.

Give a life-changing gift

Give with confidence

Everything Afghanaid does is geared towards achieving our vision of a peaceful and thriving Afghanistan. We are committed to being fully accountable and transparent to the communities we work in, as well as to all of the generous donors who make our work possible. We know that we can only achieve our goals thanks to your generosity, support and trust - thank you.

Read our promise to you