Friday, February 13, 2009

V-Day - Stop the Violence

Quite a few years ago when I was still a touring stage manager for Broadway shows, I worked on The Vagina Monologues. I felt extremely privileged to be a part of a show that not only was a blast to work on, but also had such an impact on so many women's lives. It's inspirational, funny, empowering, consoling, entertaining. . .

It also introduced me to V-Day. The Vagina Monologues playwright Eve Ensler created V-Day. From the V-Day website:

V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery.

You may have heard of the annual V-Day events of The Vagina Monologues produced around Valentine's Day. The majority of them are at college campuses, but there have been a few star studded productions as well. In 2008, over 4,000 V-Day benefit events took place produced by volunteer activists in the U.S. and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls.

I remember one story that Eve told us about a woman in Kenya named Agnes who would walk village to village to teach the women about their bodies and help them understand the unnecessary and life threatening risks of female genital mutilation. Eve asked her what V-Day could do to help her. She said that if she had a Jeep, she would be able to get around to the villages much easier. V-Day got her a Jeep. A time later, Eve met with Agnes again and asked how V-Day could help. She suggested a school and safe house for the girls and women fleeing FGM. V-Day built the first V-Day Safe House for The Girls: It offers fifty girls a safe residential shelter, and enables them to continue their schooling.

I love that story of Agnes and the good that she's doing with the support of V-Day. Eve has got tons of stories like that. She is an inspiring woman and V-Day is such a worthwhile cause. This Valentine's Day, instead of roses and chocolates, consider a donation to V-Day to help women like Agnes and stop the violence.

The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.


Antebelle said...

WOW! Great post, great woman, great organization!

Deanna Lack said...

Awesome post! I never knew about this, thanks :)

Athena's Armoury said...

As we said on The Vagina Monologues, "Spread the Word."