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Women 
and
Literacy


This page contains links to sites relevant to women's issues, particularly in relation to women's work as learners and literacy practitioners. Please contact LR/RI with suggestions / information you'd like to share.

recently posted:

Where Women have no Doctor - A health guide for women. Downloadable (PDF files)


On the Screen:  connections between violence and learning:  work supported through a fellowship from the National Institute for Literacy to examine connections between trauma and learning in adult education settings.  A site dedicated to the fellowship work includes a developing list of resources (including links to many domestic violence resources formerly found on this page) and an abridged version of the fellowship proposal.

talk about it : Daphne Greenberg moderated a woman and literacy listserv. An archive of the list is available, [to read, without subscription], at http://lincs.ed.gov/lincs/discussions/list_archives2.html

That list, actually is now the Diversity and Literacy list.  Our good fortune continues; Daphne Greenberg continues her excellent moderation and support of the discussion.



Women and Literacy special collection - compilation of resources related to women and literacy internationally

About Face a grassroots effort dedicated to combating negative and distorted images of women and promoting alternatives through education and action - and humor. (with thanks to Nancy Cooper of Alphaplus for alerting me to this site)

ACCESS for young women in science and technology - from the College of Science at the University of Utah

AIDS, Medicaid, and Women, by Laurence M. Lavin. - discusses gaps in the health care system that prevent persons with HIV, especially women, from accessing the early care that holds so much hope. 5 Duke J. of Gender L. & Pol'y 193 (July 17, 1998). (from NHELP, the National Health Law Program site) 



Adult Education and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Communities  - Trends and Issues Alert No. 21 by Sandra Kerka, 2001.

From PEN weekly newsblast, May 8, 2009: Against all odds, Afghani girls learn
Afghani parents who in the past forbade their daughters to attend school due to societal taboos are once again keeping them at home because of attacks by militants wielding acid or worse, National Public Radio reports. Nearly half the country's children do not attend classes, most of them in the Taliban-rife south, says Afghanistan's education minister, Farouq Wardak. Hundreds of schools have closed in Kandahar and neighboring provinces because of militant attacks and threats. Yet many girls are refusing to give up their schooling, no matter the cost. The Afghan government, aid groups, and defiant teachers are operating public schools and secret, in-home classes in a risky effort to ensure that Afghan girls get an education. Today, the number of classes exceeds 400, each with about 30 students. To help coax families into sending their girls, students are given wheat, cooking oil, and salt. "I want to serve my nation and my country," says 17-year-old teacher Marzia Sadat. "If the militants kill me, so be it. I pray to God as do my mother and father and that gives me the strength not to be afraid," she says. 


An Artist in the Halls of Science - Canadian artist Pam Hall responds to women's bodies, medical intervention and space around and in between.


Are we still talking about gender differences in ABE? - notes for an address given by Kate Nonesuch in 1998 to ABE instructors who work for School Board programs in British Columbia, Canada. Kate Nonesuch has worked with, thought and written about women and literacy for many years, and is literacy co-ordinator and instructor at Malaspina University-College, Cowichan Campus, Duncan, BC. She is the editor of Making Connections (Toronto: CCLOW, 1996), co-author of a series of science books for basic readers and inventor of the Never-Fail Writing Method.

Making Connections: A Literacy and EAL Curriculum from a Feminist Perspective - available on line
overview of the text and links to two supplemental documents produced following a meeting of the facilitators in 1998 - after they had delivered workshops focused on using the curriculum. The titles are:Anti-racist/Culture-Based Approaches and Guided Reflections for Facilitators


new work : The Artemis project, free, five-week summer day camp for rising 9th grade girls in the Providence area who are interested in learning about science and technology.



Boston Women's Heath Book Collective - Our Bodies, Ourselves and other resources in English and in Spanish


Creating Change in Literacy Programs by Jenny Horsman
http://www.jennyhorsman.com/

But I'm Not a Therapist: Literacy Work with Survivors of Trauma - Archived discussion postings, as well as an opportunity to join in/continue the conversation. Please follow the directions below to participate, read archived messages and download the paper Jenny Horsman wrote on the topic of literacy work with survivors of trauma.

    Jenny Horsman is a feminist literacy worker and researcher whose research showed that violence has profound impacts on women's ability to learn and to meaningfully participate in literacy programs. In this on-line workshop, participants looked at the research together, searching for ways to improve practice and programs to respond in ways that support all learners. The workshop was designed for anyone interested in the impact of violence on women's learning and has access to the internet, including literacy workers, ESL instructors, counsellors, therapists, shelter workers, feminists, academics, students, activists, and others. Go to http://alphaplus.ca/

Jenny Horsman, a community educator and researcher, works with Spiral Community Resource Group, Toronto, to carry out research, writing, curriculum development, training and facilitation projects in adult literacy and workplace training. She is the author of Something in my Mind besides the Everyday: Women and Literacy and has also contributed to several collections of writing about literacy, including Worlds of Literacy, edited by Mary Hamilton, David Barton, Roz Ivanic (1994). Jenny's new website is now online at http://www.jennyhorsman.com



The Second International Women and Literacy Conference was held in Atlanta in January, 1999. Reports from that conference are being posted to this site; connect to the conference wrap up here

Defining the other ? - panel with Jenny Horsman, Deanne Bradley, Nancy Cooper, Arlene Wells and Janet Isserlis 


READING ABOUT SURVIVING: LITERACY IN TRANSITION HOUSES -report of a project promoting meetings of transition house workers and literacy programs to encourage networking and mutual referrals, by Kate Nonesuch and Evelyn Battell


On November 19, (98), Marsha Wise, Director of Community Services at the Women's Center of Rhode Island, spoke about domestic violence and adult learners and has given us permission to post some of the information she shared at that session. To read the handout, click here. To learn more about the Women's Center, contact PO Box 6692, Providence, RI 02940, and/or visit On the Screen, a site focussing on violence and learning, including local and national resources.

Half the House - Information about Half the House, Richard Hoffman's powerful memoir of experiences of abuse, and links to Hoffman's writing. Considering the notion of violence and women, without an awareness of violence done to children and its long term effects on them, we lose an important connection to who we are in the world.

Other sites related to violence : On the Screen resource page


Cambodian Women Development Agency - "dedicated to promoting self-sufficiency and self-reliance in Cambodian communities and the advancement of women's economic and social rights." Includes literacy and health education information.

Children's Encyclopedia of Women - encyclopedia written by third and fourth grade students at Pocantico Hills School. The content is basic and clear, making it accessible to adult literacy learners without being condescending.

Critical issues for women in adult ESOL (Academic Session) TESOL ' 99 Papers from acolloquium exploring a range of issues facing women (both learners and practitioners) in adult ESOL contexts. Presentations focus on women in the workplace, health and literacy education, domestic violence, participatory research with women learners, and classroom-community connections. Presenters: E. Auerbach, T. Goldstein, L. Hewitt, J. Horsman, J. Isserlis, K. Rivera

Discussion group at TESOL '98: Women, literacy and learning: Is there an issue? - report of the session held in during TESOL '98.


eLit - Empowerment through learning information technology:  eLIT believes that an informed, fulfilled and educated mother is critical for the children of the 21st century. We provide tools for economic independence, enhancing self-esteem and assisting women in creating a better tomorrow for their families.  Our goal is to empower socially and economically challenged women and children all over the world.
Exploring women's rights -  from Rethinking Schools;  delineates an elementary school teacher's lesson plan around workers' rights, and women's rights in particular.  While the lesson was designed for young students, the process the teacher used to engage her students is one that is easily adaptable to adult ABE, ESOL and GED learners.
The Fairy Tale Project : Exploring women's independence - "Young girls growing up with fairy tales such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, whether in older classic versions or those created by Disney, form certain visions of how their lives are going to, or should, be. The realities of being a woman in today's society are seldom fairy tale quality, however, and in most instances can prove to offer  significant challenges."

Gather the Women - Women throughout the world are invited to create thousands of local, regional and national women's gatherings on March 8, 2003. These events will allow millions of women to participate in a global conversation and to support one another in creating positive change through collaborative action.

Gender and Sexuality - online articles from The Nation, including a piece on the Education of Women, written in August, 1866.

Gender Approach to Adult Literacy and Basic Education -Marcela BALLARA Education, Gender and Development Consultant

A History of International Women's Day in words and images - An Isis Creation for the Australian Women's Intra Network by Joyce Stevens.

Her Story -- Community Center, The Learning Page - photos, diaries,  timelines for learning about women in US history, literature about women and    discrimination, African-American women in the sciences, women in Muslim societies, Native American women writers, Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Mead, research in women's history, and more.

Institute for Women's Policy Research - including  information about welfare reform monitoring projects, child care, domestic violence, work and welfare reform, and links to informative policy and other resource sites.


International Issues - from the UN cyberschool bus To be born a girl - Intermediate School Kit on the United Nations: A Web Adaptation.  Also, search the site for other women's issues

WomenWatch - The UN Internet Gateway on the  Advancement and Empowerment of Women

from the UN Cyber School Bus daily fax archive

    12 Mar 98 Daring Women of Africa

    "At a press briefing sponsored by the United Nations Development Fund for Women, Inonge Mbikusita- Lewanika, President of the Federation of African Women's Peace Network (FERFAP) and a member of parliament in Zambia, stressed the importance of preventing violence in Africa, adding that active participation by the people and the promotion of human rights were ways of achieving this. She said that some of the African women "had done the most daring missions that no government can think about." As an example, she said, during the conflict in Mali, women risked their lives and got in touch with the rebels and "talked to them until they collected all their guns and put them to flame." In northern Uganda, she added, a minister went to the bush "with just a handbag" to talk to the rebels. She also said that African women were putting pressure on African governments to reduce their defence budgets while also pleading with other women in developed countries to pressurize their governments to stop the production of weapons which are used in conflicts on the African continent."

    From: DAILY HIGHLIGHTS, Friday, 6 March 1998

    5 Mar 98 The Miseducation of Girls

    "In much of the world too little attention has been paid to the education of girls. Huge gaps persist between women's and men's educational achievement. Globally, nearly 600 million women remain illiterate today, compared with about 320 million men. In certain parts of the world, moreover, as many as three in four women are illiterate, and others have received no more than a negligible education. This neglect has had critical consequences for women's well-being, for their empowerment as well as for their reproductive choices and roles. The education of girls is a key factor in improving family health, reducing infant mortality, and changing reproductive behaviour. With education comes increased confidence and self-esteem. Educated women are more likely to stand up for themselves, participate in the labour force, and seek health care for themselves and their children." From: The State of World Population 1997, CHAPTER 4


The Journal of South Asia Women Studies - the first journal on/by Asia women on the web, includes unpublished articles, reviews, news. Academic submissions welcomed.


Literacy and Social Change: From a Women's Perspective Mi Shiknar: I Will Learn by Ujwala Samant - Part of the proceedings of the 1996 World Conference on Literacy

Literacy for Women on the Streets - documentation of literacy work in Vancouver, BC, designed for and with women in the sex trades.

Literacy Resource Centre for Girls and Women In Collaboration With Asia Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) Japan


Starting with Women's Lives: Changing Today's Economy

Making Connections across culture: Critical reflection on a feminist adult education resource - by Arlene Wells. A report on a research project that examines the way in which one feminist literacy resource does and doesn't accommodate the needs, strengths and cultures of women learning and teaching in adult literacy programs. The report moves beyond an analysis of one curriculum document into a careful reflection of the ways that race, class, and gender (among other things) interlock and contribute to helping or hindering women's learning.

from the National Council on Research for Women - Misinformation Clearinghouse; information (including the area of education) about women's lives.   - (A Facilitator's Guide to a Visual Workshop Methodology)    Suzanne Doerge and Beverly Burke.  A "how-to" guide for doing a gender analysis of today's economy in a visual and participatory way, called "The Wall".  The methodology uses the image of a stone wall to depict a gender analysis of today's economy or a particular aspect of it. The wall image provides an opportunity to analyze changes in the economy over the past ten years and what those changes havemeant for women.

MUJER - Mothers United for Jobs, Education, Results - learner-generated site from San Antonio, Texas; includes learners' stories and reflections, and descripitions of projects.  (This link also appears on LR/RI's learners page).

National Adult Literacy Database  (Canada)

National Women's Health Information Center - one-stop gateway for women seeking health information.  NWHIC is a free information and resource service on women's health issues designed for consumers, health care professionals, researchers, educators, and students.

Race and Gender in Adult Education
  Susan Imel, 1995, ERIC Trends and Issues Alert 

Rhode Island Women and Film Project - Pat Salazar's report on her 1998 minigrant project, "My not so Brilliant Idea," a film and discussion project for women held in Woonsocket, RI.


Strategies for Advcancing Girls' Education -  designed to take a non-traditional, multi-sectoral approach to increasing involvement in girls’ education around the world, and particularly in developing nations.
A Tradition That Has No Name : Nurturing the Development of People, Families, and Communities by Mary Field Belenky, Lynne A. Bond, Jacqueline S. Weinstock - a text that comes highly recommended by a number of women. Read the review on line (at Amazon.com); order if you'd like or come have a look at LR/RI. 
Telling Our Stories Our Way: A Guide to Good Canadian Materials for Women Learning to Read  (1990, posted online, 2003) [ Linda Sheppard, Ed. ]       "This document is a resource guide to good Canadian literacy materials for women. The first of its kind, the guide reflects a commitment to both a literacy practice that puts students first, and a feminist perspective, which recognizes the need for materials that deal with the particular realities of women's  lives. It features reviews of selected books and pamphlets of special interest to women learning to read.


Text Quarterly from the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy - issues related to women and literacy, Summer 1999, Volume 11, Issue 4

Text Quarterly from the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy - Fall 1999, Volume 12, Issue 1


What did you do in the war, Grandma? - An Oral History of Rhode Island Women during World War II Written by students in the Honors English Program at South Kingstown High School. 

Where there is Life, There is Hope: Women literacy students and discrimination - The Samaritan House PAR Group, Manitoba, Canada, 1995.


The Women's Fund of the Rhode Island Foundation - New Women's Fund of Rhode Island promises to 'level the playing field' through  grants, research, 'celebration' 

Women's Health - a special section of the New York Times website, containing information about women's health issues and links to other on-line resources.

Lots and lots about international women's day, from a google search.



Women and Literacy
: Trends and Issues Alert by Susan Imel, ERIC/ACVE, 1996


Women and Literacy: Guide to the Literature and Issues for Woman-Positive Programs  Information Series No. 367 by Susan Imel and Sandra Kerka

Women Work and Literacy - ERIC Digest No. 92 by Sandra Kerka


Women's Voices 2000 - The Most Comprehensive Polling and Research Project on Women's Values and Policy Priorities for the Economy from the Center for Policy Alternatives



Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1830-1930 - "consists of editorial projects of primary documents that speak to the history of women in reform movements in the U.S. We now have a sizable body of documents ...along with some graphics, links to other educational sites in women's history, and a search engine that makes material on the site quite accessible. We are hoping the materials will be valuable in high school and college courses in history." Kathryn Kish Sklar and Tom Dublin Department of History SUNY-Binghamton.


Women in Literacy, Laubach Literacy - "Women in Literacy, a decade-long global effort to reach and teach 1.1 million poor women, is the driving force for program expansion and new partnership development. As new readers and new leaders, women improve lives and rejuvenate communities long bypassed by publicly and privately funded development efforts."

Women's Enews - resources and news related to women, work, welfare, the economy, and daily lives; national/international resources and articles

Women Leaders on Line - Women organizing for change, including links to resources, news, action alerts (as well as an action alert email list) relevant to women and social / political change. 


Women Leading Through Reading - a Minnesota-based initiative to raise awareness about the particular challenges women face as they seek to enhance their literacy skills, and to explore alternative ways for women to improve their literacy skills. A resource list of literacy materials for women is also attached to the site.

and, related to that, WE LEARN - Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network:
WE LEARN values and promotes literacy and literature for all women; especially those with lower-level English reading and writing skills. Education can
become a liberatory opportunity for women disadvantaged by traditional schooling. Women and girls need and deserve access to a variety of creative
educational opportunities, programs, resources, and materials at all levels of readability.  Check the site to learn about the project's goals, complete a questionnaire,  and gather information about and connections to women working with and within literacy.

Mom's on Duty with NO Pay: A Radio Program for International Women's Day, March 8, 2002, - Students in the Family Learning Program, South St. Paul, MN, 365/24/7  ] PDF file - The free Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) Reader allows you to view, navigate, and print PDF files across all major computing platforms. To download Acrobat(R) Reader clickhere


Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies.

Women's immigration issues - by Ed Kissam and Holda Dorsey  California State University and Hacienda La Puente Adult Education
Instructor information, and lesson plans; part of larger site of materials from Latino Adult Education Services


Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development and Peace - Leadership Training and Empowerment; including a web anthology entitled Toward a Compassionate Society, which addresses the importance of cultural pluralism and women’s role in promoting peace in a rapidly globalizing world. The issues are examined from a variety of gender-focused cultural and inter-disciplinary perspectives including sociology, anthropology, human rights, philosophy, and religion.


WomensNet - supports women's organizations locally, nationally and worldwide by providing and adapting telecommunications technology to enhance their work. 


Women of War [Christian Science Monitor, 8 March/2000] "For 30 years, Eritrean women fought alongside men for independence from Ethiopia. Now, the latest border skirmishes with Ethiopia threaten to undo many of the gains the women of Eritrea have made in a patriarchal society." by Cheryl Hatch, ASMARA, ERITREA [with thanks to Julie Nora for bringing this resource to light]


Women's Words: A Change Curriculum for Tutors and Learners  - a project of the Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education (SCALE

Women Work! The National Network for Women’s Employment

Women and Work - from the PEN weekly newsblast, May 11, 2007: THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF MOTHERHOOD
If the typical stay-at-home mother in the United States were paid for her work as a housekeeper, cook and psychologist, among other roles, she would earn $138,095 a year, according to new research. This reflected a 3 percent raise from last year's $134,121, according to Salary.com Inc., Waltham, Mass.-based compensation experts. The 10 jobs listed as comprising a mother's work were housekeeper, cook, day care center teacher, laundry machine operator, van driver, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, chief executive officer and psychologist. The study indicated the typical mother puts in a 92-hour work week, working 40 hours at base pay and 52 hours overtime. A mother who holds a full-time job outside the home would earn an additional $85,939 for the work she does at home. Last year she would have earned $85,876 for her at-home work. Salary.com compiled the online responses of 26,000 stay-at-home mothers and 14,000 mothers who also work outside the home.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070502/us_nm/work_mothers_dc

see also, My Wife Doesn't Work,  and another version, here.

Women'space: Feminist e-zine and Women's Internet Campaign - "A place where women activists share stories of our adventures in cyberspace and explore how the Internet is being used as a powerful tool for women and A campaign to ensure women, girls, and women's groups have equal access, equal participation, and an equal voice in communication technologies."
responding to September 11 and resources for critical reflection: additional resources and information appear on LR/RI's ESOL, EL/Civics, On the Screen and intergenerational literacy pages

Afghan women fear war's legacy - September 27, Globe and Mail, Toronto

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) - documents, images, reports from RAWA, including a caution that some images are deeply disturbing. RAWA has worked, at great peril to its members, for basic human rights, including literacy, for Afghanistan's people.


created January 30, 1998

last updated November 12, 2013

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