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793 million illiterate adults around the world

Illiteracy 793 million people around the worldIlliteracy undermines efforts to combat social problems, such as poverty and diseases, and threatens social stability - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. 
In a message marking the International Literacy Day Thursday 8th September, Ban said that under this year's theme featuring "Literacy and Peace", the event reminds people that the critical tasks of preventing violence, calming tensions and ending conflicts all demand attention to literacy.
"The costs are enormous," Ban said in the message. "Illiteracy exacerbates cycles of poverty, ill-health and deprivation. It weakens communities and undermines democratic processes through marginalization and exclusion. These and other impacts can combine to destabilize societies."
"Despite progress, illiteracy continues to afflict millions of people, especially women and girls," Ban said.
Roughly two thirds of the world's estimated 793 million illiterate adults in 2009 were female, and some 67 million primary- school-aged children and 72 million teenagers did not have the chance to receive education, Ban said.
"Literacy unlocks the capacity of individuals to imagine and create a more fulfilling future. It opens the way to greater justice, equality and progress. Literacy can help societies heal, advance political processes and contribute to the common good," he said.
The day of September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Nov. 17, 1965, aiming to ensure that all people can read and write.
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