International Women’s Day – 2012 theme – “Empower rural women: End hunger and poverty”

7 March 2012

8th March is International Women’s Day. Please see below for a message from UN Women Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet.

Message of Michelle Bachelet Executive Director of UN Women on International Women’s Day 2012
International Women’s Day 2012
“Empower rural women: End hunger and poverty”

This International Women’s Day, I join women around the globe in solidarity for human rights, dignity and equality. This sense of mission drives me and millions of people around the world to pursue justice and inclusion. Looking back at the first year of UN Women, I applaud every individual, government and organization working for women’s empowerment and gender equality. I promise the highest commitment moving forward. The creation of UN Women has coincided with deep changes in our world –from rising protests against inequality to uprisings for freedom and democracy in the Arab world.

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MARUAH’s comments on the practice of threatening defamation lawsuits

5 March 2012

MARUAH is troubled by the recent incidents of politicians threatening defamation lawsuits against internet blogs and forums, and calls on our political and corporate leaders to refrain from using defamation lawsuits against political opponents and critics.

MARUAH recognises that individuals, including public figures, have a right to protect their reputations. However, that right needs to be balanced against the right to free speech.

When political leaders threaten defamation lawsuits against internet blogs and forums, there will invariably be a “chilling effect” on online political discourse. Such actions to protect one’s reputation carries a heavier “footprint” than necessary, and more appropriate responses to defamatory comments are possible, in today’s Web 2.0 world.

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