Eve Ensler – a woman on a mission to end violence against women and girls.
In 1994, a play called The Vagina Monologues, written by playwright and activist Eve Ensler, broke ground, offering to the world a piece of art like nothing it had seen before. Based on dozens of interviews Ensler conducted with women, the play addressed women’s sexuality and the social stigma surrounding rape and abuse, creating a new conversation about and with women.
The Vagina Monologues ran Off-Broadway for five years in New York and then toured the United States. After every performance, Ensler found women waiting to share their own stories of survival, leading her to see that The Vagina Monologues could be more than a moving work of art on violence; she divined that the performances could be a mechanism for moving people to act to end violence.
On Valentines Day, 1998, Eve, with a group of women in New York City, established V-Day. Set up as a 501(c)(3) and originally staffed by volunteers, the organization’s seed money came from a star-studded, sold out benefit performance at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, a show that raised $250,000 in a single evening.
V-Day’s mission is simple. It demands that violence against women and girls must end. To do this, once a year, in February, March, and April, Eve allows groups around the world to produce a performance of the play, as well as other works created by V-Day, and use the proceeds for local individual projects and programs that work to end violence against women and girls, often shelters and rape crisis centers. What began as one event in New York City in 1998 today includes over 5,800 V-Day events annually.
Linda Z was actively involved and on the Board of a group in Concord, MA which produced and performed “The Vagina Monologues.” She talked about her involvement with the organization. She also had a table set up with a video playing, and had books and articles that described the organization and its activities.
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. Read more about the organization, get involved or support it.
The V-Day movement is growing at a rapid pace throughout the world, in 140 countries from Europe to Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and all of North America. V-Day, which is a non-profit corporation, distributes funds to grassroots, national and international organizations and programs that work to stop violence against women and girls.