San Francisco News

Bokova in SF to promote literacy for women

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The first woman to become director-general of a major United Nations organization is in San Francisco promoting literacy among women and girls.

Irina Bokova leads UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It supports education programs around the world that focus on science, freedom of information and global security. Bokova says education is so critical, it can affect the stability and security of a country, such as Afghanistan. She said 70 percent of the Afghan police are illiterate. 600,000 women are uneducated.

"When we speak about education, about literacy, about conflict, it really borders to a security issue in very many of these cases, if you want to isolate extremism, and fundamentalism, sometimes it's key," said Bokova.

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Bokova says UNESCO created the first ever world atlas on gender equality in education to show where improvement is needed. UNESCO's programs get help from Bay Area companies including Cisco, Microsoft, Google and Apple.

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