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V-Day Movement to End Violence Against Women and Girls Continues to Expand in 2006

02/09/2006

Over 1150 Colleges and Communities Stage V-Day Benefits of "The Vagina Monologues"

In Locales from Dar Es Salaam to Charlotte, from Manila to Los Angeles, Over 2500 Events Taking Place this V-Day Season

2006 Corporate Sponsors Announced

2006 Theme "Vagina Warriors: The New Revolution" Celebrates New Activists and Places Global Spotlight to Bring Justice to 'Comfort Women'

V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, today announced that local activists in over 1150 college and communities are confirmed to present V-Day 2006 benefit productions of "The Vagina Monologues." Each community typically stages two-three nights in a row, due to popular demand, totaling well over 2500 fundraisers in all. With the majority of events taking place on or around Valentine's Day, V-Day 2006 will feature more than 713 college and 437 community productions - the most in V-Day's history, with performances in over 54 countries, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Charlotte, North Carolina, from Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, California.

As the V-Season (February 1-March 8) begins, V-Day is proud to announce their new and continuing partnerships with a wide variety of corporate sponsors for 2006. These individuals and corporations provide significant creative and financial support for the ongoing effort to end violence against women and girls. V-Day's 2006 corporate sponsors include Barneys New York, Dramatists Play Service, Eileen Fisher, GK Designs for Jewelserv, Luna Bar, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Unique Swiss Skin Care, Vosges Haut Chocolat, and Zhena's Gypsy Tea. V-Day is excited to be extending the V-Day community to include such committed partners.

"Vagina Warriors: The New Revolution" is the theme for the movement's 2006 campaigns and grassroots events. "Vagina Warriors: The New Revolution" celebrates new activists and leaders who are working to end violence against women in their communities. 'Vagina Warriors' are women and men who have often experienced violence personally or witnessed it within their communities and dedicated themselves toward ending such violence through effective, grassroots means.

The range and breadth of V-Day 2006 events this year is vast. V-Day locations include three new countries in Southern Africa: Mozambique, Namibia and Botswana. Communities and colleges in all Scandinavian countries including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, in countries in Europe and Eastern Europe including Spain, Belgium, Germany, France, Greece, Czech Republic, Kyrgyzstan and Bosnia and Herzegovina will participate. The Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Mexico will be staging benefits this year. Events will also take place in all 50 of the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam, and over 50 events will take place in the United Kingdom alone.

Stories and successes are already beginning to stream in. In Iceland, female members of the Parliament will be performing a V-Day benefit of 'The Vagina Monologues" on March 1 in Reykjavik and have invited the male Parliamentarians to attend. In Nairobi, Njoki Ndungu, a member of the Kenyan Parliament and long time V-Day activist, has drafted the first-ever sexual offence bill that will be brought for debate in March. In Toronto, local V-Day activists will be joined on stage by film star Rachel McAdams. In Philadelphia, the organizer at the University of Pennsylvania invited men to an all male discussion about violence against women at a fraternity house. A great success, the evening resulted in the formation of a male group who will work towards preventing violence against women and incorporating men into both the process and the solution.

2006 Spotlight: Justice to 'Comfort Women'

Each year V-Day spotlights a particular group of women who are experiencing violence with the goal of raising awareness and funds to put a worldwide media spotlight on this area and to raise funds to aide groups who are addressing it.

At each 2006 event, organizers will place a global spotlight on the 'Comfort Women' to raise funds and awareness and to demand an apology from the Japanese Government. The 'Comfort Women' were young women of various ethnic and national backgrounds who were forced into sexual slavery during World War II between 1932 and 1945. On the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II, V-Day joins women and men around the world in calling for justice to 'Comfort Women' survivors. Coinciding with the spotlight, over 21 V-Day events will take place in Asia including China, Fiji, Japan, Saipan, Taiwan, Singapore, and 14 events in the Philippines.

V-Day is working with groups on the ground in Asia to plan a major V-Day event during Summer 2006 to bring maximum attention to this issue. V-Day is also working to raise awareness of human trafficking as we recognize the relationship between the story of the 'Comfort Women' and modern day human trafficking.

Opening Night of "The Good Body" In LA is V-Day's Annual Fundraiser

V-Day Founder Eve Ensler is currently on the North American tour of her newest play "The Good Body." The tour will reach 20 US cities from October 2005 until its culmination in April of 2006. A portion of proceeds from the tour will be benefit V-Day.

On February 1 at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles, V-Day held its annual fundraiser thanks to Eve and the producers of the play. The evening's performance was a benefit for V-Day, followed by a reception with star supporters. Lead sponsors were Carole Black, The Los Angles Times, and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and attendees included Anne Archer, Sally Field, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Cheryl and Ron Howard, Dylan McDermott, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Victor Rivers, Shiva Rose, Marisa Tomei, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley among others.

The V-Day L.A. 2006 Committee included Jane Fonda and Paula Weinstein, Honorary Chairs, Gail Berman, Carole Black, Ilene Chaiken, Robert Dowling, Sally Field, Kristin Hahn, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Christine Lahti, Lauren Lloyd, Dylan McDermott, Pat Mitchell, Kathy Najimy, Dawn Ostroff, Marc Platt, Emily Scott Pottruck, Shiva Rose, Cari Ross, Paula Wagner, Kerry Washington, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Rita Wilson. The night marked the opening of Eve's Los Angeles run as well as her Los Angeles stage debut.

Karama Program In Africa, Asia & The Middle East

The Karama Program, which launched in Cairo in July 2005 under the leadership of V-Day Special Representative Hibaaq Osman, will continue to expand with offices set to open in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia over the next three years. To strengthen and link community-based strategies in each country, the Karama Program will organize training workshops, convene national and regional meetings, promote art and culture events, provide funding for program implementation and give communications support to the emerging networks ending gender based violence.

V-Day On TV

Eve Ensler will be interviewed by a V-Day student activist, Kendra Jackson of Georgetown University, on mtvU "15 Minutes with…" airing from Thursday, February 9 to Tuesday, February 14 (repeating throughout the day). Beginning Friday, February 10, an interview with Eve will appear on PBS "To The Contrary." On Saturday, February 11 at 9pm, the documentary "Beautiful Daughters" will premiere on Logo. Directed and produced by Josh Aronson and Ariel Orr Jordan, the original documentary looks at the lives of four transgender women intertwined with the casting, rehearsal and opening of the first transgender V-Day production of "The Vagina Monologues". And, on February 19, Eve has a guest appearance on the popular Showtime television series "The L Word". Unlike recent celebrity cameos, Eve will be playing a character. Tune in, check you local listings for airtimes.

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About V-Day: V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler's award-winning play "The Vagina Monologues." In 2005, 1100 colleges and communities produced V-Day events in the U.S. and 41 countries around the world. To date, V-Day has raised over $30 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns, reopened shelters, and funded over 5000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq. The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.

To schedule interviews with Eve Ensler or a V-Day spokesperson, please contact Susan Celia Swan,
(212) 253-1823, press at vday.