For this year's event honouring the independence of thought of Scottish Writer Naomi Mitchison, we are responding to the PEN International Women's Manifesto, which outlines women's rights to have free speech, freedom from violence, access to education, the right to roam physically, socially and intellectually, and equality and parity before the law and in pay.
The full manifesto can be read here: https://pen-international.org/app/uploads/Womens-Manifesto-2018-FINAL-PDF.pdfor below.
Each writer who is on the Scottish PEN Women's Writer committee (including Jemma Neville, Hannah Lavery, Elizabeth Reeder, Sarah Bernstein, Sim Bajwa and Emma Doherty) will be responding to one element of the manifesto. This could be with details of women writers worldwide who need our support, through local voices detailing what that element means to them, and creatively with stories, poems and performances.
We're also inviting diverse responses to the Manifesto from you. If you would like to respond to the manifesto (which is below), please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
PEN International Women's Manifesto, passed with unanimity at The Assembly of Delegates of PEN International 83rd World Congress in Lviv, Ukraine 21 September 2017, is as follows:
PEN international endorses the following internationally recognized principles:
NON-VIOLENCE: End violence against women and girls in all of its forms, including legal, physical, sexual, psychological, verbal and digital; promote an environment in which women and girls can express themselves freely, and ensure that all gender-based violence is comprehensively investigated and punished, and compensation provided for victims.
SAFETY: Protect women writers and journalists and combat impunity for violent acts and harassment committed against women writers and journalists in the world and online.
EDUCATION: Eliminate gender disparity at all levels of education by promoting full access to quality education for all women and girls, and ensuring that women can fully exercise their education rights to read and write.
EQUALITY: Ensure that women are accorded equality with men before the law, condemn discrimination against women in all its forms and take all necessary steps to eliminate discrimination and ensure the full equality of all people through the development and advancement of women writers.
ACCESS: Ensure that women are given the same access to the full range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights to enable the full and free participation and public recognition of women in all media and across the spectrum of literary forms. Additionally, ensure equal access for women and girls to all forms of media as a means of freedom of expression.
PARITY: Promote the equal economic participation of women writers, and ensure that women writers and journalist are employed and paid on equal terms to men without any discrimination.