Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy V-Day!

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

February 14 was co-opted by Eve Ensler in 1998 when it was declared V-Day. This was the year when the V-Day non-profit organization was created, an organization dedicated to ending violence against women and girls  The organisation was founded using the 250,000 dollars in proceeds from a single benefit performance of Ensler's famous Broadway hit, and multiple-award-winning, activist and humanitarian play:  The Vagina Monologues.  

Since then, and in light of the staggering statistics on the number women and girls victims of violence, V-Day launched the One-billion women rising campaign on V-Day 2012. This is the single largest mass action to end violence against women and girls, where the one billion rising represent the 1 in 3 women, victims of violence in a world population of 7 billion. 

Since 2012, V-day has become a world-wide day for organizing, celebrating and dancing the specially choreographed Break the chain piece for the occasion. Otherwise, V-Day arises within the context of three months of intensified fundraising events, including performances of the famous play that brought women's and girls' experience of violence into the limelight.

Please feel free to click on the following [link] to tune into the One Billion rising V-day celebrations, and perhaps to find and connect with the women and girls, and all those who love them, celebrating in your area.  Everyone will be dancing, marching, speaking and fundraising in celebration!

V-day is also a special day for the UN HeForShe campaign, a United Nations campaign that has enlisted the support of men to hold up one-half of the sky, and to speak up on behalf of women and girls in the fight to end violence against them. The UN HeForShe mission is no less than to end gender inequality. The new logo for this movement of men in support of women, in their bid to end violence directed at them, is included to the right.

Please feel free to stand together and join the fight [here]!  

In 2016, the facts on violence against women and girls are still bleak:
-  One woman in three  is still the victim of violence (physical, emotional and/or psychological) perpetuated mostly by an intimate partner. In 2012, one in 2 women killed were killed under such circumstances by their partners or family. In comparison, 1 in 20 men were killed under such conditions [UN: Facts & Figures].
- Two thirds of countries have outlawed domestic violence, only 52 countries have criminalized marital rape [UN: Facts & Figures].  
- 4.5 million, of the 21 million estimated victims of forced labor and human trafficking, are victims of sexual exploitation, and 98% are women [UN: Facts & Figures]. 
- 133 million women and girls have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in 29 countries of Africa and the Middle East, 1/3 less than 30 years ago [UN: Facts & Figures]. 
- 700 million women were married before the age of 18, one-third before the age of 15. 2.5 times more poor girls are likely to be forced into child marriages than wealthier girls [UN: Facts & Figures].  

 Thus, violence directed against women and girls is still considered of pandemic proportions.

Ensler, E. (1996) The Vagina Monologues ( Acting Edition). New York, NY: Dramatist Play Service Inc.
Farhan Akthar (Dec. 1, 2015) What is a real man – a mard?
One billion rising
UN Women
UN- Fact and Figures: Ending violence against women
UN – HeForShe campaign
V-Day Org
One Billion Rising - FlashMob - Break the chain  - San Francisco, CA 

No comments: