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V-Day 2004 "Celebrating Vagina Warriors" Is the Movement's Biggest Year in Its Seven-Year History

06/07/2004

Over 5000 V-Day Events in 76 Countries Since Inception in 1998

June 07, 2004 – Today, V-Day announced that its 2004 season (January –March 2004) was the global movement's biggest awareness and fundraising year to date with over $5 million dollars raised. The theme for the 2004 season "Celebrating Vagina Warriors" was reflected throughout the high profile series of V-Day benefits, events and campaigns. Key 2004 highlights included the first documentary about the movement "Until The Violence Stops;" the V-Day and Amnesty International March on Juarez, Mexico to honor the over 300 missing and murdered women and to support the families and groups working for justice; the two-week intensive V-Day 2004 Visit to India: Celebrating the Indian Woman Warrior featuring events in Mumbai, Himachal, and Delhi; and over 2,300 V-Day 2004 benefit productions of "The Vagina Monologues" in February and March in 1,100 communities and colleges worldwide benefiting local community anti-violence programs.

In mounting its annual campaigns, V-Day draws inspiration from the thousands of Vagina Warriors – volunteers, activists, sponsors, media, and supporters – who work worldwide to end violence against women and girls in their communities. Each V-Day event helps a woman tell her story, inspires others to give, engages the local media, enables women to expand their networks, and encourages entire communities to act together to end violence against women.

Highlights of V-Day 2004 "Celebrating Vagina Warriors"
"UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS"
Directed by first time director Abby Epstein, UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS documents how "The Vagina Monologues" grew into an international grassroots movement called V-Day to stop violence against women and girls. In 2002, eight hundred cities around the world participated in V-Day by staging benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues. UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS shows women from locations as diverse as Harlem, Ukiah, California, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the Philippines, and Kenya, uniting and courageously revealing their intimate and deeply painful experiences with abuse ranging from rape to female circumcision. In emotionally charged interviews and performances, everyday and celebrity women such as Rosie Perez, Salma Hayek, Tattoo Cardinal, Jane Fonda, and LisaGay Hamilton embrace their bodies, reconcile their pasts, and bond together to break the silence that surrounds abuse. More than just testimonies and performances, UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS is a film about empowerment and the importance of dialogue in the healing process. A celebration of women reclaiming their bodies

  • The documentary world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 17, with two additional screenings added due to popular demand. Vagina marketing became all the rage at Sundance with Vagina Warrior ski caps becoming the in demand item for Park City attendees.
  • Six U.S. communities hosted benefit screenings to raise funds and awareness for local groups working to end violence against women and girls: Santa Fe, NM; San Francisco and Ukiah, CA; Miami (Film Festival); Atlanta, GA; White Plains, NY.
  • The documentary premiered February 17, commercial free on Lifetime Television, with nearly 1 million viewers. Immediately after the east ast coast broadcast, Tampax hosted the first-ever live V-Day web-castfrom The University of Tulsa (OK), where thousands of women and men logged on to ask Eve and V-Day questions about the film and the movement.
  • Media coverage of the documentary appeared in hundreds of national and local broadcast and print outlets including CNN, TODAY, NPR, PEOPLE, TV Guide, USATODAY.com and many more. V-Day supporters Jane Fonda and Glenn Close joined Eve for television, radio and print interviews and junkets. Early reports from our print monitoring service found over 400 articles from February 1-29, 2004 reaching over 50 million people.

SPOTLIGHT ON JUAREZ, INTERNATIONAL MARCH ON JUAREZ, MEXICO
Through the Mexico City production of "The Vagina Monologues," direct support to Casa Amiga and other grassroots groups, and the efforts of thousands of activists, V-Day has been working throughout Mexico and internationallyto raise awareness about the missing and murdered women of Juarez. For V-Day 2004, Juarez was our Spotlight issue placing the issue in front of millions in the U.S. and internationally through the over 2000 V-Day benefits that took place in February - March. While there have been victories in terms of awareness and discussions, the struggle is not over as more bodies have recently been found and the murders remain unsolved.

"The City of Murdered Women," V-Day Founder/Playwright Eve Ensler's essay on the missing and murdered women of Ciudad Juarez, appeared in the March issue of Marie Claire magazine.

  • Working closely with Amnesty International, V-Day placed stories on the issue in PEOPLE, the Los Angeles Times, CosmoGIRL and more.
  • On February 13 the V-Day delegation – including Congresswomen Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Hilda Solis (CA), Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Christine Lahti, Lifetime Television CEO Carole Black, PBS CEO Pat Mitchell, Lifetime EVP Public Affairs Meredith Wagner – met with mothers whose daughters have been murdered or are missing; immediately following the American Consulate hosted a reception welcoming the V-Day community to Juarez to support our efforts to raise awareness and to end the violence against women in Juarez. The newly appointed special prosecutors met with Eve and members of the delegation to discuss changes and progress – or the lack of – in these cases
  • On V-Day, February 14, over 7,000 people traveled to Juarez - thousands crossing the bridge from neighboring El Paso, TX - to stand up for the women of Juarez.
  • Following the march, thousands gathered for a community luncheon in advance of the historic, first performance of "The Vagina Monologues" in Juarez by a bilingual cast included Lilia Aragon, Marinitia Escobedo, Laura Flores, Monica Alicia Juarez, Jane Fonda, Sally Field and Christine Lahti.
  • The march and the performance garnered international media coverage, saturating the U.S., UK, Mexico and Latin America via CNN, Univision, Telemundo, local ABC, CBS, NBC stations, Agence France Presse, Associated Press, BBC, The Guardian, the Sunday Times and more.
  • VICTORY! On March 8 V-Daywas notified by a local community organization in Juarez that as a result of the March on Juarez the Chihuahua State's Attorney had resigned.

V-DAY INDIA 2004: CELEBRATING THE INDIAN WOMAN WARRIOR
Through V-Day Special Representative Hibaaq Osman's leadership and vision, art and activism united to end violence against women in India. A V-Day delegation, along with star supporters Jane Fonda and Marisa Tomei, traveled to India March 8-20 to celebrate South Asian women's activism.

  • A gala benefit production of "The Vagina Monologues" was staged on International Women's Day (March 8) in Mumbai. The Indian cast, along with Jane, Marisa and Eve wowed the standing room only audience.
  • The V-Day delegation toured a SNEHA (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action) hospital/shelter in the largest slum in Mumbai. SNEHA was a beneficiary of the V-Day Mumbai event and is now a V-Day awardee.
  • V-Day met with representatives of Citibank in Mumbai who are supporting the work of several groups working to end violence against women and girls followed by a 14-hour (one-way) bus journey to the state of Himachal, near Dharamsala (the Tibetan seat of government) to support Jagori, the host organization in Delhi, to celebrate the opening of their new learning center for women and girls. During the stay at the Norbulingka Institute (founded by the Dalai Lama with a mission is to preserve Tibetan culture) the group visited the Buddhist nunnery and lit 1001 candles as a blessing for the learning center and for peace and non-violence.
  • In Delhi, V-Day, along with Jagori and SANGAT, hosted a three-day conference: "Confronting Violence: Recounting Resistance, Envisioning Justice." The conference objective was to analyze how feminists have faced Violence Against Women, what connections have been made with other phenomena like communalism, fundamentalisms, globalization, privatization etc. A dynamic group of over 70 women from South Asian (including Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, and India) attended the conference. Eve performed a one-woman show of "The Vagina Monologues" for conference attendees and special guests that brought down the house.
  • V-Day co-sponsored an evening of Women Artists for Justice, Harmony and Peace, a concert in an open-air venue. The voices of youth, the dancing of women, the strength of poetry and Eve's powerful words were a beautiful, celebratory way to end V-Day India 2004.
  • Indian print, radio and television media covered the trip two weeks in advance with multiple stories on the celebrities, the events, and the activist conference. Throughout the visit Indian media saturated the message of V-Day's mission to end violence against women via interviews with Eve, Hibaaq Osman, Jane Fonda and Marisa Tomei.

(A full report from V-Day Special Representative, Hibaaq Osman, will be released this summer.)

2,300 V-DAY EVENTS IN 1,100 COMMUNITIES
Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers and college students produced annual benefit performances of "The Vagina Monologues" to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities. Since V-Day launched its very first event in 1998, the movement has encountered incredible women working to end violence against women and girls in their communities.

These women have often experienced violence personally or witnessed it within their communities and dedicated themselves toward ending such violence through effective, grassroots means. They have been the very heart of V-Day. This year, V-Day's 2004 events and campaigns celebrated these women whom Eve has dubbed ‘Vagina Warriors.' V-Day productions around the world selected and honored Vagina Warriors in its own community.

  • Eve's solo performance to a sold-out, SRO audience in Tulsa, OK benefited The Spirits of Hope: A Coalition Addressing Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking in Oklahoma Indian Country. After Eve's performance Jane Fonda performed "Emotional Creature," a new piece written by Eve.
  • The first-ever transgendered V-Day was staged in Los Angeles. It was a spectacular evening of celebration, performance and education about the horrific violence that transgendered women endure. A highlight of the evening was the performance of a new piece by Eve written specifically for the event, "He Beat the Girl Out of My Boy…Or So He Tried."
  • In March, models, actresses and politicians joined together to stage V-Day Nairobi, a performance of "The Vagina Monologues" benefiting the Rape Crisis Centre at the Nairobi Women's Hospital in Nairobi and the V-Day Safe House, the first safe house in Kenya for girls running away from early marriages and female genital mutilation.
  • In an event of corporate activism, V-Day LUNA (Luna Bar, a V-Day sponsor) united corporate employees and community members – including Tiffany Schlain of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – in two sold out benefit performances of "The Vagina Monologues" that raised close to $20,000 and celebrated vaginas in the boardroom.
  • Eve supported Amnesty International's London launch of a two year Stop Violence Against Women Campaign with AI Secretary General Irene Kahn and actor Patrick Stewart. The event received worldwide media coverage.
  • V-Day Europe launched on February 14. With the support of the European Commission, national coordinators in the UK, France, Germany and Luxembourg have joined forces to promote V-Day in Europe,. Between 14 February and mid-March, V-Day performances of "The Vagina Monologues" took place in Trier, Saarbrücken, Frankfurt am Main, Bochum and Bremen, in Paris, Brest and other cities in France. To mark International Women's Day, an international team in Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg hosted a V-Festival throughout the month of March 2004 with a wide range of women's art events, performances of "The Vagina Monologues" in French and German and culminating in a transnational, multilingual V-Day performance on 14 March 2004 that brought together all European partners in a celebration of the movement. On March 8 at London V-Day Westminster, the first ever performance of "The Vagina Monologues" by women politicians of all political parties, took place. MPs including Joan Ruddock, Caroline Spelman, Sandra Gidley and Oona King, as well as the Home Office minister Caroline Flint, performed alongside Jerry Hall, Meera Syal and Anita Roddick before a packed audience at the Criterion Theatre in London! In addition, there were over 70 local performances across the UK.
  • Overall media coverage of local V-Day 2004 events continues to grown in campus and regional papers. Events receive major local coverage as well as placement in key papers such as The Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune and on local TV stations nationwide.

Also of note in 2004 are the V-Day events that did not happen – Bejing, China; Chennai, India; and on select Catholic college campuses. In Beijing, China, authorities shut down a production of ‘The Vagina Monologues" translated into Chinese. International media - including The New York Times - covered the banning reporting that the Chinese character for vagina is half anatomical and half vulgar. Despite a successful staging earlier in the week in Mumbia, in the southern Indian city of Chennai, a local police commissioner banned the V-Day India 2004 benefit production of "The Vagina Monologues" scheduled to include Jane Fonda and Marisa Tomei, claiming that the play posed a threat to public order. Indian media covered the story extensively as well as the performance and events in Mumbai and Delhi.

In the U.S., the Cardinal Newman Society continued its campaign against V-Day benefits at Catholic colleges. Several V-Day productions at Catholic Colleges and Universities moved to off campus locations. As in previous years, these negative efforts - which are the minority considering that 1100 communities staged successful V-Day benefits - generated considerable publicity about the play and the issue of violence against women in local and national media including USA Today.

As the 7th V-Day season comes to an end, V-Day thanks the thousands of women and men activists – the true vagina warriors worldwide – who brought V-Day into their communities, raising funds and awareness, and making sure that not another woman or girl will experience violence. Since V-Day's first NYC benefit in 1998, the movement has expanded to 76 countries with V-Day events worldwide from Angola to China to Ethiopia to Israel to Yugoslavia to Zimbabwe. To date, over 5000 benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues have taken place, raising funds for local grassroots antiviolence groups and educating millions of people about the issue of violence against women and girls.