Afghan Women’s Writing Project “Freedom to Tell Your Story” Campaign

August 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Photo: Afghan Women's Writing Project

At Her Circle Ezine, our mission is to support socially-engaged creative work, be it in literature or the arts. While researching news on art and books for Her Circle, I learned of a new campaign by the Afghan Women’s Writing Project called “Freedom to Tell Your Story.” I wrote briefly about the campaign here.

AWWP helps women’s voices be heard in a country that is one of the most dangerous in the world for women. Most of the participants in the project must write in secret, and risk most severe punishment if they are discovered. As I discussed in my recent post on Musine Kokalari, there are so many barriers to voices of women and girls being heard. The kinds of barriers in Afghanistan are among the most blatant and widespread, and the most dangerous. AWWP has taken up a noble and important mandate, one that I hope to help garner support.

But what are the barriers, if any, that exist right here in North America? A friend in my book group passed along this article to us today where author Claire Messud (The Emperor’s Children) writes about the dearth of female authors recognized for the top literary prizes or listed among the best writers in history or in contemporary landscapes. The comments following Ms. Messud’s post were, I think, even more interesting than her article. The comments add more data to support her claims, but also show skepticism of the veracity of her claims among male writers. What is your take?

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