In 1998, Eve launched V-Day, a global non-profit movement that has raised over $100 million for groups working to end violence against women and girls anti-violence through benefits of performances of The Vagina Monologues.
Eve Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues following interviews with 200 women about their views on sex, relationships, and violence against women. The interviews began as casual conversations with her friends, who then brought up anecdotes they themselves had been told by other friends; this began a continuing chain of referrals. She wanted their stories to be heard and for the world to sit up and take note that, even in these enlightened, modern times, the women of this world still suffer a disproportionate amount more than their male counterparts….and most often at the hands of the men.
The Vagina Monologues is the cornerstone of the V-Day movement, whose participants stage benefit performances of the show and host other related events in their communities. Such events take place worldwide each year between February 1 and April 30. The performances generally benefit rape crisis centers and shelters for women, as well as similar resource centers for women.
This year, I am immensely proud to be performing in such an event. On Friday 12th February I will be performing in The Vagina Monologues, raising money for the Network Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAFGEM). On Saturday 13th February I will be performing in another Eve Ensler play, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant And A Prayer with proceeds benefitting Arusha Women Legal Aid And Human Right Organization (AWLAHURIO).
My own personal experiences of violence against women not only makes me want to connect with others on this topic – it makes me vehemently passionate about this cause. I believe in Eve Ensler’s approach – once you give consciousness to something, then people will talk about it.
Being a part of this production is a huge personal step in my own healing and reconciliation on this topic. Some of the monologues are so heart-wrenching that even speaking them out loud feels like a healing exercise in itself. The power of the words is beautiful, heartbreaking and, ultimately, motivating and empowering.