More than 14 million Egyptians above the age of 10 cannot read or write, said Egypt’s official statistics agency in a statement Wednesday.
Marking International Literacy Day, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) said that of the 14.5 million illiterate Egyptians, 9.3 million are females and 5.2 million are males.
The statement, which comes one day before the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the start of International Literacy Day, added that 23.7 percent of Egyptians above the age of 15 years are illiterate; 30.9 percent female and 16.6 male.
The gap between literate males and females in Egypt comes in line with the international rates announced by UNESCO. According to data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 758 million adults aged 15 years and older remain illiterate, two-thirds of whom are women.
The CAPMAS statement adds that the illiteracy rate in Egypt for those aged between 15 and 24 is lower than the rate for those above 60, with 6.6 percent for youths compared to 59.4 percent for the elderly, which according to the statement reflects “positive development towards lowering the rates of illiteracy in the future.”