Eve Ensler created V-Day, after her experiences performing her play, The Vagina Monolgues, inspired her to take further action towards stopping violence against women.
Ensler’s co-created the City of Joy, a village where Congolese women go to heal and retrain. It opened in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in February 2011. V-Day – the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls founded by Tony Award-winning playwright and activist, Eve Ensler – has announced the launch of a new global campaign: ONEBILLION RISING. This year-long campaign, V-Day’s most ambitious yet, will culminate on February 14, 2013, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, when women, activists and concerned citizens across the world will organize community gatherings to express their outrage, demand change, strike, and dance in defiance of the injustices they have suffered. V-Day activists launched the campaign at over 5,800 colleges and community events across the world.
From Zambia to Poland to Malaysia, local V-Day activists ignited and spread the message of One Billion Rising. “More than 1 out of every 3 women on this planet will experience violence during her lifetime. With 7 billion people on the planet, that’s one billion women. Stopping this violence is as crucial as addressing the issues of disease, hunger, and climate change,” said Eve Ensler. “One Billion Rising is a global strike, a call to refuse to participate until rape and rape culture ends. It’s a solidarity reach, a new refusal, and a new way of being.” Over the past 14 years V-Day has mobilized activists from more than 140 countries and worked tirelessly on a grassroots level to demand an end to all forms of violence against women and girls. In the face of resistance V-Day activists have raised consciousness, changed laws, funded rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters (often keeping the doors open), educated their communities, and raised over $85 million for groups doing the essential work of ending violence and serving survivors.
Still, violence against women and girls persists and takes atrocious new forms. One Billion Rising is an ultimate protest, a battle cry, an inspiration, and a global call to action. One Billion Rising activists are encouraged to focus on local issues affecting women and girls including work places, home life, laws and legislators, media that supports violence against women and girls, and governments or religious institutions that have not done enough to stop it. Some may even decide to stop working or participating until the violence culture ends. As part of this outreach, V-Day will provide a monologue called “OVER IT,” written by Eve Ensler, to be read at productions of The Vagina Monologues and other V-Day events. They will challenge its college and community organizers to mobilize their friends, families, and networks to commit to rising up on February 14, 2013 to express their outrage about what they are “over” in relation to the prevalence of violence against women and girls.
Activists are also encouraged to write their own OVER IT monologues to give voice to their outrage. V-Girls activists will also play a vital role in the “OVER IT” campaign. The announcement of One Billion Rising kicks off V-Day’s 2012 season of events and campaigns. Over 1,850 colleges and communities will host V-Day benefit events raising funds and awareness locally, spotlighting the women and girls of Haiti, and beginning their One Billion Rising initiatives.
Events center around Ensler’s seminal play The Vagina Monologues, but include readings of V-Day’s anthology A Memory, Monologue, A Rant, and a Prayer and Any One of Us: Words from Prison, documentary film screenings of V-Day: Until The Violence Stops and What I Want My Words To Do To You, and Congo and Haiti Campaign teach-ins and house parties. For the second year in a row, each event will highlight Haiti, shining a global spotlight on the issues facing women and girls in the region post-earthquake, and V-Day’s campaign to end the violence.
On February 14, 2013, together V-Day activists will move the earth, activating women AND MEN to dance across every country. The celebration of One Billion Rising will be a worldwide happening. In advance of the 15th anniversary, join V-Day and One Billion Rising to SAY NO TO gender-based violence.