A minimal definition of literacy is being able to read, write and understand a short and simple statement about one’s everyday life.
The highest number of all people 15 years and older that are illiterate live in India, followed by Pakistan and Bangladesh; in Pakistan more than 40% of all adults are illiterate. Among the countries with the lowest literacy rates are mostly countries from Sub-Saharan Africa.
In South American and Western European territories men and women have very similar levels of literacy. Elsewhere, particularly in India, China, Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran, there are much larger numbers of women who cannot read or write compared to men living there.