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PEN International marks International Women's Day

Friday 8 March 2013 - 12:00am

On March 8 PEN commemorates International Women’s Day with Centres around the world continuing to highlight and campaign on cases of violence and intimidation against women writers.

PEN International is currently campaigning on cases of violence targeting women across the world; from Russia, where justice remains long overdue for the murders of journalists Anna Politkovskaya and Natalia Estemirova; to Pakistan, where the shooting of 11 year old blogger and educational activist Malala Yousafzai shocked the world; to Liberia, where Mae Azango, reporting on Female Genital Mutilation received threats that she would be “cut” to make her “shut up”; to Mexico, where investigative journalist Lydia Cacho was attacked and forced into hiding for her work exposing child abuse and sex-trafficking.

Such brutality remains a truly global concern.

Women Writers Committee Statement at the CSW

This month, the PEN International Women Writers Committee are attending the 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which focuses on ‘The Eradication and Prevention of all Forms of Violence against Women and Girls’.

PEN International will be presenting an oral statement to the UN General Assembly which will address in particular the critical issue of violence against women writers striving to improve access to information and exercising their right to Freedom of Expression. To watch a live webcast of the Commission on the Status of Women, click here.

PEN is calling on State and non-state actors to acknowledge the significant role of women writers in the advancement of freedom of expression and to improve mechanisms to ensure their safety.

Women writers face extraordinary risks due to their work for the promotion of freedom of expression. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, PEN calls upon all parties to join with us in celebrating their vital contribution and remarkable courage.

To watch PEN International present its oral statement, follow the live Webcast between 8pm and 10pm GMT.

For more details on cases PEN is monitoring click here.

To find out more about the work of PEN International’s Women Writers Committee click here.

If you would like to help support PEN International’s work donate here.