Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Global Studies Program


Suellen Diaconoff

Second Advisor

Jennifer Yoder

Third Advisor

Patrice Franko


This thesis examines what factors are important for successful literacy provision in the case of urban Moroccan women. Literacy programs should teach participants not only to decipher symbols on paper, but should provide information relevant to the everyday context of learners' lives. As a result, newly literate individuals should perceive changes in their levels of self-esteem, empowerment, economic status, and health conditions. In Morocco, the government launched a large-scale literacy campaign in May 2003 to lower illiteracy, which currently affects about half of the population. In conjunction with this campaign, the Moroccan government is increasingly cooperating with NGOs, the principal providers of women's literacy training. This cooperation, however, is hampering the independence and ability of women's literacy programs to provide prolonged literacy training. Although the evidence from this study indicates that urban Moroccan women are not affected by changes in their health or economic status by achieving literacy, they feel strong impacts on their self-esteem and empowerment. The factors most important to assuring successful literacy provision were strong leadership and invested human resources, learner's participation, and the government's mobilization and awareness efforts.


Feminism -- Morocco, Women -- Morocco -- Social conditions, Literacy -- Morocco, Women -- Morocco -- Education, Muslim women -- Morocco

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