International Literacy Day 2023: Theme, Purpose, History

Every year September 8 is observed as International Literacy Day to raise awareness of the importance of literacy for individuals as well as for communities as whole.

This special day reminds of the significance of literacy for one’s personal dignity and it is the basic human right of every person to have the right to education. International Literacy Day (ILD) also focuses on the advancement the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.

International Literacy Day 2023 Date

Check International Literacy Day in 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027:

International Literacy Day 2023September 8, 2023Friday
International Literacy Day 2024September 8, 2024Sunday
International Literacy Day 2025September 8, 2025Monday
International Literacy Day 2026September 8, 2026Tuesday
International Literacy Day 2027September 8, 2027Wednesday

International Literacy Day 2023 Overview

EventInternational Literacy Day 2023
International Literacy Day 2023 DateSeptember 8, 2023
Declared byUNESCO
PurposeTo raise awareness of the importance of literacy

Did You Know?

Here are some interesting facts for you to know on the occasion of International Literacy Day 2023:

  1. The United Nations considers literacy a basic human right.
  2. The global literacy rate for women is 81%, compared to 89% for men and 63% of all illiterates are female.
  3. India currently has the largest population of illiterate adults in the world with 287 million. This is 37 per cent of the global total.
  4. There are still approximately 773 million people in the world who cannot read which makes one out of every seven person illiterate.
  5. The first International Literacy Day was observed on September 8, 1966. The year 2023 marks the 57th celebration of ILD.
  6. UNESCO issued a new plan which will be adopted through 2025 and targets the most vulnerable countries currently facing literacy challenges.
  7. The youth literacy rate in the Central African Republic fell from 60.81% to 36.36% in the last decade.
  8. Not just developing or under-developed countries but many developed countries are also facing the problem of illiteracy.
  9. According to the NWEA nonprofit education organization, virtual schooling also affected student literacy.
  10. Burkina Faso with a literacy rate of 12.8% is the country with the lowest literacy rate in the world.

Significance of International Literacy Day

There are many factors that contribute towards the development of a nation. The most important one is the development of its citizen and literacy provides a platform to the individuals for their personal development only after which they can contribute towards the development of nation.

By means of International Literacy Day, the people are reminded of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and nations. The day highlights the necessary requirements to help build more literate societies around the world and is celebrated every year with a unique and exceptional theme.

History behind International Literacy Day Observation

The World Conference of Ministers of Education in Tehran instituted the World Literacy Day in 1965. The events attracted worldwide attention and in the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, a resolution was adopted by the UNESCO for celebration of International Literacy Day with stress being given on eradicating ignorance so that people can have a greater access to livelihood.

The resolution was adopted on 26 October 1966 stating that September 8 will be observed annually as International Literacy Day. The purpose behind the observation was to combat illiteracy and promote literacy as a tool to empower individuals and communities. The International Literacy Day was celebrated for the first time in 1967.

Check other special days in September

How is International Literacy Day Celebrated?

The International Literacy Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm all around the world. Every year a theme is decided and the celebration revolve around the specified theme. Events, conferences and seminars on the importance of literacy are organized in different countries and by the United Nations.

Well-known writers of the world support the UNESCO’s plan for promotion of literacy through the Writers for Literacy Initiative. Many charity and non-profit organizations support the fight against illiteracy in their own way.

International Literacy Day 2023 Theme

International Literacy Day 2023 theme is ‘Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies’

Last year International Literacy Day was celebrated under the theme, “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces”. The theme provides an “opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any holiday on International Literacy Day 2023?

There is no public holiday on the occasion of International Literacy Day 2023.

What are the main causes for illiteracy?

According to UNESCO’s “Global Monitoring Report on Education for All (2006)”, severe poverty and prejudice against women are the main causes for illiteracy.

What are some previous years’ themes for International Literacy Day celebration?

Here are some previous years’ themes for International Literacy Day celebration:
For 2022- “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces”
For 2021- ‘Literacy for a human-centered recovery: Narrowing the digital divide’
For 2020- ‘Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond’
For 2019- ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’
For 2018- ‘Literacy and Skill Development’
For 2017- ‘Literacy in a Digital World’

What is the theme of International Literacy Day 2023?

‘Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies’

3 thoughts on “International Literacy Day 2023: Theme, Purpose, History”

  1. thanks for opening your page in public, it gives me a glimpse of all the activities that can be suitable to us/in our school.


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