PIWWC Statement on Yemen
January 16, 2019
PEN International Women Writers Committee supports freedom of expression activist and founder of Women Journalists without Chains and 2011 Noble Peace Prize laureate and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman in her call for women's voices to be heard in striving for peace in her home country Yemen.
"After four years of devastating war, the people of Yemen demand peace. It is women who are the most-affected by the war and their voices need to be heard in the peace negotiations. We, as the Women for Yemen Network, call for women to be represented in peace talks... We call on the international community to put pressure on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to ensure that women are present at the peace talks. When women’s voices are included, a more lasting peace is secured."
The WWC acknowledges the specific and detrimental impact war has on women's rights, and especially on women's rights to exercise their rights to freedom of expression. We are especially concerned at the longer-term impact of a war that has robbed a generation of children of their right to be properly educated. That literacy is not being taught means the world community will be robbed of future women writers who would otherwise share their reflections and imaginative capacity with a reading public.
We call on all parties with a role to play in negotiating peace in Yemen to:
· include women in their discussions and ensure their voices are heard.
· take whatever measures are necessary to re-establish education for the children of Yemen, including the vital skill of literacy.