V-Day l ONE BILLION RISING l World Wide February 14, 2013

vDAYABOUT V-Day

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To read V-Day founder Eve Ensler’s bio, click here

V-Day is a global activist movement to end 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 sex slavery.

Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers and college students produce annual benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer, Any One Of Us: Words From Prison, screenings of V-Day’s documentary Until The Violence Stops, and the PBS documentary What I Want My Words To Do To You, Spotlight Teach-Ins and V-Men workshops, to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities. In 2012, over 5,800 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.

Performance is just the beginning. V-Day stages large-scale benefits and produces innovative gatherings, films and campaigns to educate and change social attitudes towards violence against women including the documentary Until The Violence Stops; community briefings on the missing and murdered women of Juarez, Mexico; the December 2003 V-Day delegation trip to Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan; the Afghan Women’s Summit; the March 2004 delegation to India; the Stop Rape Contest; the Indian Country Project; Love Your Tree; the June 2006 two-week festival of theater, spoken word, performance and community events UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS: NYC ; the 2008, V-Day 10-year anniversary events V TO THE TENTH at the New Orleans Arena and Louisiana Superdome; the Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power To The Women and Girls of the Democratic Republic of Congo Campaign; theV-Girls Campaign, and the V-Men Campaign.

In Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, V-Day commits ongoing support to build movements and anti-violence networks. Working with local organizations, V-Day provided hard-won funding that helped open the first shelters for women in Egypt and Iraq; sponsored annual workshops and three national campaigns in Afghanistan; convened the “Confronting Violence” conference of South Asian women leaders; and donated satellite-phones to Afghan women to keep lines of communication open and action plans moving forward. V-Day was instrumental in the founding of Karama, a program working in Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon that works to build upon and strengthen efforts to end violence against women by bringing together local women’s organizations and other civil society groups in collaboration, analysis and advocacy at national, regional and international levels.

In conjunction with the 15th anniversary, V-Day launched its most ambitious campaign to date – ONE BILLION RISING. The concept of the campaign is simple. If you take into account the statistic that 1 out of 3 women will experience violence in her lifetime, you are left with the staggering statistic that over 1 billion women on this planet will be impacted by violence. On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 2.14.13, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.

VDAY2The V-Day movement is growing at a rapid pace throughout the world, in 167 countries from Europe to Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and all of North America. V-Day, a non-profit corporation, distributes funds to grassroots, national and international organizations and programs that work to stop violence against women and girls. In 2001, V-Day was named one of Worth Magazine‘s “100 Best Charities,” in 2006 one of Marie Claire Magazine‘s Top Ten Charities, and in 2010 was named as one of the Top-Rated organizations on GreatNonprofits. In fourteen years, the V-Day movement has raised over $90 million.

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

To learn more about how to organize a V-Day event, click here.

The Unspeakable Truth About Rape in India l NYT OpEd

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

The Unspeakable Truth About Rape in India

By SONIA FALEIRO

Published: January 1, 2013

I LIVED for 24 years in New Delhi, a city where sexual harassment is as regular as mealtime. Every day, somewhere in the city, it crosses the line into rape.

Joanna Neborsky

As a teenager, I learned to protect myself. I never stood alone if I could help it, and I walked quickly, crossing my arms over my chest, refusing to make eye contact or smile. I cleaved through crowds shoulder-first, and avoided leaving the house after dark except in a private car. At an age when young women elsewhere were experimenting with daring new looks, I wore clothes that were two sizes too large. I still cannot dress attractively without feeling that I am endangering myself.

Things didn’t change when I became an adult. Pepper spray wasn’t available, and my friends, all of them middle- or upper-middle-class like me, carried safety pins or other makeshift weapons to and from their universities and jobs. One carried a knife, and insisted I do the same. I refused; some days I was so full of anger I would have used it — or, worse, had it used on me.

The steady thrum of whistles, catcalls, hisses, sexual innuendos and open threats continued. Packs of men dawdled on the street, and singing Hindi film songs, rich with double entendres, was how they communicated. To make their demands clear, they would thrust their pelvises at female passers-by.

If only it was just public spaces that were unsafe. In my office at a prominent newsmagazine, at the doctor’s office, even at a house party — I couldn’t escape the intimidation.

On Dec. 16, as the world now knows, a 23-year-old woman and a male friend were returning home after watching the movie “Life of Pi” at a mall in southwest Delhi. After they boarded what seemed to be a passenger bus, the six men inside gang-raped and tortured the woman so brutally that her intestines were destroyed. The bus service had been a ruse. The attackers also severely beat up the woman’s friend and threw them from the vehicle, leaving her to die.

The young woman didn’t oblige. She had started that evening watching a film about a survivor, and must have been determined to survive herself. Then she produced another miracle. In Delhi, a city habituated to the debasement of women, tens of thousands of people took to the streets and faced down police officers, tear gas and water cannons to express their outrage. It was the most vocal protest against sexual assault and rape in India to date, and it set off nationwide demonstrations.

To protect her privacy the victim’s name was not released publicly. But while she remains nameless, she did not remain faceless. To see her face, women had only to look in the mirror. The full measure of their vulnerability was finally understood.

Read the Full Opinion/Ed 

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