IDS Bulletin Vol. 28 Nos. 3

Literacy, Gender and Vulnerability:

Published on 1 July 1997

Summaries This article explores the complex relationship between ‘illiteracy’ and women’s vulnerabilities. Based on ethnographic field work in southern Ghana during the pilot phase of a national functional literacy campaign, the article explores how different literacy skills are embedded in wider power relations, including those of class and gender relations. These relationships of power include the degree to which women are able to access the non?formal education classes and the extent to which women are ‘empowered’ through the acquisition of literacy skills. This analysis seeks to deconstruct the pervasive donor representation of the ‘composite illiterate woman’ which, it is argued, creates a false dichotomy between literate and non?literate women and disguises the multiple meanings that the women themselves bring to the literacy process.

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Yates, R. (1997) Literacy, Gender and Vulnerability: . IDS Bulletin 28(3): 112-121

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published by
Institute of Development Studies
Yates, Rachel


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