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 womensubjects like
war and peace, religion, or lawthis 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
Women's WORLD will undertake work in the following
- 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
- We will defend writers who are attacked because
of their views on gender or because they are women who dare to
- 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).