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On September 8, 1965, the United Nations first recognized International Literacy Day. Literacy is usually defined as having basic reading, writing, and math skills. According to the UN, “[l]iteracy is a right and a foundation for lifelong learning, better well-being, and livelihoods.”
 
Literacy can be limited by restricted access to education. Literacy rates are often lower in the developing world than in developed nations. In many areas, girls do not attend schools as regularly as boys, and literacy rates for girls are lower.
 
The idea of literacy is expanding. In fact, the UN sometimes talks about “literacies,” such as historical literacy, economic literacy, technological literacy, and cultural literacy.
access
Noun

ability to use.

culture
Noun

learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

developing world
Noun

nations with low per-capita income, little infrastructure, and a small middle class.

disease
Noun

harmful condition of a body part or organ.

economic
Adjective

having to do with money.

health
Noun

condition of an organism's body and mind.

justice
Noun

administration of law.

literacy
Noun

ability to read and write.

literacy rate
Noun

percentage of a population able to read and write.

livelihood
Noun

ability to economically support oneself.

medicine
Noun

substance used for treating illness or disease.

Noun

political unit made of people who share a common territory.

quality
Noun

characteristic or feature.

quantity
Noun

amount.

recognize
Verb

to identify or acknowledge.

restrict
Verb

to limit.

right
Noun

specific freedom or opportunity granted to an individual or organization based on the law.

technology
Noun

the science of using tools and complex machines to make human life easier or more profitable.

United Nations
Noun

international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.

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