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Womens World Free Speech Network of Feminist Writers

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.