We have formed the Women's World Organization for Rights, Literature, and Development, or Women's WORLD, because nowhere on earth are women's voices given the same respect as men's. In a few countries, a few women are heard some of the time; in most countries, our words are greeted with polite indifference and mere lip service is paid to our concerns; and, in far too many countries, women who try to have a public voice are met with hatred, contempt, suppression, exile, or death. Whether the agency of suppression is the state, the publishing industry, religious authority, or the family, all forms of silencing and exclusion must be seen as censorship. When certain subjects are made taboo to women—subjects like war and peace, religion, or law—this is censorship. When people who write critically about gender arrangements cannot find publishers, this is censorship. When girls are not taught to read and write, this is censorship. Gender-based censorship is a human rights abuse that must be fought. The world cannot afford to use less than half its wisdom.

Women's WORLD will undertake work in the following areas:

  •  We will research, explore, and educate the public about the scope and prevalence of gender-based censorship, and work to have this problem redefined as a human rights abuse that violates the right to free expression of more than half the world's population.
  • We will defend writers who are attacked because of their views on gender or because they are women who dare to write.
  • We will mount international press campaigns about particular cases and extreme abuses.
  • We will encourage the development of women's presses and journals, the first line of defense against gender-based censorship, and strive to link them internationally, so they can share views and resources and create a social space for women's independent political thought.

Women's WORLD Board of Directors:

Officers: Chair: Mariella Sala (Peru), President: Meredith Tax (USA), Vice Chair: Nadezdha Azhgikhina (Russia), Secretary: Joan Ross Frankson (Jamaica), Treasurer: Paula Giddings (USA) .

Members of the Board: Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana), Kristen Booth Glen (USA), Angélica Gorodischer (Argentina), Ritu Menon (India), Micere Githae Mugo (Kenya), Grace Paley (USA), Luisa Passerini/Annamaria Tagliavini (Italy).