1 in 3 women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. This equates to 1 billion women. This figure is an atrocity and must end.
1 billion rising is a global campaign to end violence against women, which calls for 1 billion women on 14th February to stand up and join together to dance in a defiant act. The campaign is by the V Day Movement, the campaign behind The Vagina Monologues, and is currently in its 15th year.
|This is a photo taken by Eve in Ghana, which shows how many surgeries are due THAT DAY for women who have been sexually mutilated.|
On Tuesday I went to go see my universities production of The Vagina Monologues, as my friend was performing in it. Over the last few months, through her I’ve heard more and learnt more about the amazing work that The Vagina Monologues and V Day do for women who have suffered. Eve Ensler, the creator of the movement is an activist, who after working in The Congo with victims of horrific violence and rape wrote the first draft of The Vagina monologues in 1996 after interviewing 200 women in America about their views on sex, relationships, and violence against women. In 1998, the charity, "V-Day", was conceived with the intent of using The Vagina Monologues to raise money to help women who had suffered.
The Vagina Monologues is now performed in 193 countries around the world, from professional stage shows, celebrity endorsed shows, to amateur dramatic performances, like my university one.
It is made up of 18 monologues, all highlighting different issues, some hilarious and some quite shocking. One called The Vagina Workshop had me was crying with laughter at, as it is about 2 women who attend a, well... vagina workshop in order to rediscover their body and become liberated. They talk about the sheer embarrassment of vaginas in the wittiest way. Yet another, Crooked Braid is about domestic violence and was quite harrowing.
The performance I attended was so good, I couldn’t believe how confident and passionate the cast were. Yes, everything is centred on vaginas, including the cakes for sale- Gingerbread women with little sugar hearts where their vaginas would be, however there was a good strong male presence in the audience too.
Through some of the performances I discovered I’m quite prim! I couldn’t bring myself to chant along with the word ‘C@nt’. It was about reclaiming the word from the negative connotation it has got when people use it as a derogative term, but still, when the audience was asked to chant it in defiance, I just couldn’t muster my voice. I did however cry with laughter, if not go a little red at one monologue of a sex worker simulating her ‘triple orgasm’!
At the event, there was information stands from various charities which were benefiting from the money raised as 90% goes to local charities, and 10% goes to the main V Day fund. Reading the information, I just couldn’t believe the stats. More than 95,000 rapes happen in the UK alone each year and yet only just under 1000 of them are ever brought to justice! I’m disgusted by this fact, as the thought of 94,000 women suffering in silence really grips my core.
While The Monologues are suppose to shock you into thinking, the message is truly important, and only from this have I actually really thought about what goes on everyday in the world, which I am disappointed in myself for.
Please if you can, donate to this amazing cause here, or better still go see a local or national Vagina Monologue, as I promise you won’t be disappointed and you will be helping to change the lives of so many women.