Lancôme Won’t Live in a World of Illiteracy

Knowledge is power (that’s no secret), but how often do you truly realise how lucky you are to have been provided an education at all? For many of us, the route before us is automatically set from birth. You attend primary school, secondary school, university or an apprenticeship. Perhaps you take a leap of faith and join the workforce straight out of school, chances are you already have some of the transferable skills needed to navigate your chosen sector. Whatever you choose to do, these paths are only available because of the standard education we so often feel is forced upon us.

Your access to education can change depending on where you are in the world and how much money you have in the bank, but receiving a quality education is a basic human right. Thankfully, there are numerous organisations working tirelessly to increase the literacy rate of individuals across the globe, and the latest to join this commendable campaign is Lancôme. The international cosmetics company is conducting its first global charitable initiative, and has joined forces with NGO Care, an organisation that describes its mission as a chance to “work around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice.” Over the next 5 years their “Write Her Future” campaign will fund quality literacy programmes for young women and girls in Morocco, Guatemala and Thailand.

The beauty brand will donate an incredible 2 million euros to fund this campaign within communities, which they announced will benefit more than 8000 women as well as indirectly benefiting another 40,000 individuals. There can only be positive results from ensuring that women are well-educated in life, as they often suffer the most in underdeveloped countries. For example, a child that is born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive beyond the age of 5. Naturally, a child is much more likely to read and write if their mother does as well.

Françoise Lehmann, Lancôme’s International President, commented:

“Today, 76 million young women lack basic reading and writing skills. Often hidden, this handicap causes young women to face exclusion and dependence, with serious consequences for themselves, their families and their close ones.”

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Association) created a report in 2013 that detailed the effects that a lack of education has on young women:

  1. Girls with higher levels of education are less likely to get married at an early age – If all girls had a primary education, there would be 14% fewer child marriages, and if all girls had a secondary education, there would be two-thirds fewer child marriages.
  2. Education narrows pay gaps between men and women – In Pakistan, women with a primary education earn 51% of what men earn. With a secondary education, they earn 70% of what men earn, and in Jordan women with a primary education earn 53% of what men earn. With a secondary education, they earn 67% of what men earn.
  3. Educated women are more likely to find work – In Brazil, only 37% of women with less than a primary education are in work. This rises to 50% if they have a primary education, and 60% with a secondary education.

Now, we may be a few years on, but the results are still largely the same. Something as simple as being able to read and write can empower an individual to recognise and utilise a world full of potential opportunities. This can reduce poverty, end the unnecessary deaths of young children, and eliminate hunger, all of which are a positive progression towards a world more united.

The campaign has been openly supported by the likes of Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penélope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o and Lily Collins, who have been spreading the word across their social media accounts.

Julia Roberts shared the following:

“We read and write – that’s how we communicate, how we share, how we express our feelings, and how we learn to understand the world. To not have that accessible to everyone everywhere is really a crime. It’s so great for Lancôme to be involved and get serious about supporting young girls in the world through the work of Write Her Future.”

Education is a powerful tool, and this partnership will allow countless young women to turn their lives around. This opportunity will help them overcome discrimination, recognise their worth and build on their self-confidence. It will offer them real freedom and a chance to improve the lives of many, starting with themselves.


If you want to show your support for this truly incredible cause, then visit to get the ball rolling. Joining the campaign is super easy – you just sign your name and upload a photo. Make sure you share it online to help spread awareness!

For more information, please visit

Author: Charmaine Musonza