V-Day 2006 Announced: Vagina Warriors: The New Revolution
From Dar es Salaam to Charlotte, from Tokyo to Los Angeles, Over 860 Communities Join V-Day
In 2006, there will be a “new revolution.” V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls founded by playwright Eve Ensler, today announced “Vagina Warriors: The New Revolution” as the theme for the movement’s 2006 campaigns and grassroots events. From Dar es Salaam to Charlotte, from Tokyo to Los Angeles, V-Day will expand on the successful 2005 season, during which over 2500 V-Day benefit events were presented by volunteer activists around the world, educating millions of people about the issue of violence against women and girls, raising nearly $4 million and benefiting over 1000 anti-violence groups.
V-Day’s 2006 theme “Vagina Warriors: The New Revolution” celebrates new activists and leaders who are working to end violence against women in their communities. Vagina Warriors are the 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. V-Day 2005 productions around the world from Ethiopia to China; Indiana to India; Croatia to Finland selected and honored Vagina Warriors in their communities generating attention, newspaper articles, and raising funds to support their work.
This year, V-Day events worldwide will build on the momentum by recognizing new warriors and inspire even more to join the movement. Vagina Warriors: The New Revolution will bring to light faces new and old with one thing in common – tireless and creative commitment to ending violence against women.
While event registration continues, at this time over 860 colleges and communities are confirmed to present V-Day 2006 benefit productions of “The Vagina Monologues” in 45 countries from February – March. Each community typically stages two-three nights in a row, due to popular demand and totaling 2000 fundraisers in all. Organizers on 547 college campuses have registered, the most in V-Day’s history. To date, V-Day event locations include Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Botswana, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mozambique, Saipan, Suriname, Tanzania, Wales and almost every state in the United States.
2006 Spotlight: Justice to ‘Comfort Women’
Each year V-Day draws attention to 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 aid groups who are addressing it. 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. The euphemism ‘comfort women’ was coined by imperial Japan to refer to young females of various ethnic and national backgrounds who were forced to offer sexual services to the Japanese troops during the Asia/Pacific Wars between 1932 and 1945. Some were minors; others were deceptively recruited by middlemen; still more were detained and forcibly abducted. Estimates of the number of ‘comfort women’ range between 50,000 to 200,000.
In the early 1990s, Korean victims of Japan’s military sexual slavery broke their silence and came forward nearly a half century after WWII, followed by other survivors in China, Taiwan, North Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Timor L’Este. Now the aging survivors are dying off one by one without redress from the Japanese government, which still denies legal responsibility.
The V-Day 2006 Spotlight joins the ‘comfort women’ survivors and women’s groups from East and Southeast Asia in calling for justice and reparations for the unanswered war crimes. V-Day is working with groups on the ground in Asia to plan a major V-Day event in Seoul 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 the system of modern day human trafficking.
“The Good Body” and V-Day’s Annual Fundraiser in Los Angeles
Eve Ensler is currently on 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 benefit V-Day.
With “The Good Body,” Eve turns her unique eye to the rest of the female form. Whether undergoing botox injections or living beneath burkhas, women of all cultures and backgrounds feel compelled to change the way they look in order to fit in. “The Good Body” merges cross-cultural explorations with Eve’s own personal journey coming to terms with her ‘less-than-flat, post-40’s stomach.’
Thanks to Eve and the producers of the play, this year V-Day’s 2006 annual fundraiser will take place on February 1, 2006 at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles, CA. The evening’s performance will be a benefit for V-Day, followed by a reception with V-Day star supporters. The V-Day L.A. 2006 Committee includes Jane Fonda and Paula Weinstein, Honorary Chairs, Gail Berman, Carole Black, Ilene Chaiken, Robert Dowling, Sally Field, Kristin Hahn, LisaGay 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 Paisley Williams and Rita Wilson (list in formation). The night will mark 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 branches 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.
Help Stop Violence While You Shop/V-Day’s Online Store
V-Day’s partners continue to create unique products to raise money and awareness towards ending violence against women and girls. V-Day features these products at its online store and our sponsors and partners offer them on their sites and through special promotions. New for 2006, Unique Swiss Skin Care has announced its support of V-Day by contributing 25% of the retail sales of all Unique Swiss Skin Care products through their Double the Magic program. Products include 24-Hour Age Defying Cream, Renewal Mask and Gentle Cleanser. All Unique Swiss Skin Care Products are made with natural biotechnological ingredients derived from plant extracts and biological cultures, assuring no chemical agent contamination.
Also featured at store-vday.org are the following: V Tea, specially developed for V-Day by Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, is a white tea with vanilla, a delicate, healing potion dedicated to helping end the cycle of violence against women and girls worldwide. A special February promotion will be announced. V-Day Jewelry by GK DESIGNS for JEWELSERV, creators of sterling silver inspirational message jewelry, features a line designed exclusively for V-Day. New jewelry designs are a collaborative effort between GK Designs and Jewelserv, and are born to serve as a reminder and to further raise awareness of violence against women. New designs include: a V-Day Beaded Bracelet; V-Day and Warrior Sterling Silver Key Chains; Vagina Warrior Sterling Silver Necklace and the Vagina Warrior charm bracelet. V-Day offers its own line of T-shirts and hats including the Vagina Warrior American Apparel T-shirt and Vagina Warrior Ski Cap, V-Day T-shirt, and V-Day baseball caps featuring the official logo. The store also offers links to purchase V-Day products from Vosges Haut Chocolate, the V-Day documentary film “Until The Violence Stops,” the V-Day book “Vagina Warriors,” and more. EILEEN FISHER and LUNA bar continue to support V-Day and its efforts to end violence against women and girls around the world.
V-Day’s 2006 sponsors and NYC events will be announced in January.