SIL International Home
Millennium Development Goals > Promote gender equality and empower women

Meeting Millennium Development Goals
through local languages

Eight goals were adopted by 189 United Nations member states to be achieved by 2015.

SIL views local language development as essential to achieve these goals.

Two women working on literacy

Goal 3. Promote gender equality and empower women

Nearly two-thirds of the world's 875 million illiterate people are women. In ethnolinguistic communities, boys are often encouraged to interact with others in languages of wider communication. Girls, however, are typically expected to stay close to home where the local language is often the only language used. Research shows that girls and women who are educated in languages familiar to them stay in school longer and achieve better results than those who do not get mother-tongue instruction.

Related stories

Related links