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V-Day Enters Its Fifth Year With a Vision: V-Day 2003: From V-Day to V-World

01/29/2003

V-Day Asks Women and Men Worldwide to Envision and Create A World Without Violence Against Women and Girls

Anti-Violence Movement Continues To Expand With Over 1000 V-Day Benefits including V-Day Islamabad and V-Day Peshawar (Pakistan), V-Day Brigham Young University (U.S.), V-Day Hong Kong (China), V-Day Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), V-Day Bombay (India), and many more...

New York, NY - January 29, 2003

V-Day announced today its vision and plans for 2003. The vision statement, drafted by V-Day Founder/Artistic Director Eve Ensler and entitled "From V-Day to V-World," calls upon women and men worldwide to envision a world without violence against women and girls and to join V-Day in working to create it. This message runs throughout all elements of this year's campaign, including over one thousand V-Day benefit events around the world; the first ever PSA campaign in print and on TV; a spotlight on Native American and Canadian First Nations women; an initiative to end gender-based violence in Africa, Asia and the Middle East; and corporate sponsorship.

2003 marks V-Day's fifth birthday. Since the first V-Day benefit performance of Ensler's award-winning play "The Vagina Monologues" took place in NYC on February 14, 1998, V-Day has grown into a worldwide social and activist movement, raising funds for thousands of local groups and opening safe houses in Africa and schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In five short years, the movement has raised over $14 million dollars for these local and international groups working to end violence against women and girls in their communities.

In 2003, over one thousand V-Day benefit events will take place worldwide, raising funds and awareness to end violence - an issue that affects one in three women around the world (UNFPA, 2000). As part of the V-Day Worldwide and College campaigns, V-Day benefits feature a performance of "The Vagina Monologues" and are scheduled between January 31 and March 9, 2003. For the first time, these V-Day benefits will include two new community-written monologues, one by women and one by men, envisioning a world without violence, V-World. On February 3, a special V-Day event will take place on the Taos Pueblo in Taos, NM honoring this year's V-Day Spotlight on Native American and Canadian First Nations Women.

In 2002, over 800 V-Day benefits were held in over 35 countries. This year the V-Day movement welcomes the addition of hundreds of cities and colleges participating for the first time, including: V-Day Peshawar and V-Day Islamabad in Pakistan, V-Day Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as V-Day Trinidad and Tobago and V-Day Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, UT. To locate the event(s) nearest you or by country, visit http://www.vday.org/events.

V-Day's Ensler, along with Executive Director Jerri Lynn Fields, will travel to over 21 V-Day locations to meet organizers, activists, beneficiaries, and journalists. To date, their itinerary includes: V-Day Peshawar and V-Day Islamabad, Pakistan; V-Day Kabul, Afghanistan; V-Day Bombay, India; V-Day Paris, France; V-Day Zagreb, Croatia; V-Day Vukovar and V-Day Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; V-Day Taos and Santa Fe, NM; V-Day NYC, V-Day Mexico City, Mexico; V-Day Juarez, Mexico; V-Day Sydney, Australia; V-Day Kauai, Hawaii; V-Day Los Angeles, CA; and V-Day Florence, Italy. At a stop in Melbourne, Australia, Ensler will perform "The Vagina Monologues" with local performers and politicians - a special event benefiting V-Day and Australia's Emily's List at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions Women's Congress.

New avenues for the V-Day message
With its 2003 V-World inspired campaign, V-Day will raise awareness via new avenues in the media and new alliances in the fashion and beauty industries. Beginning in January, a unique PSA (Public Service Advertising) campaign will unfold in print magazines and, in February, in a companion series of TV spots. Today, January 29, a new, multi-featured website (www.vday.org) launches online.

  • February 18 at 7:00PM ET/PT, Lifetime Television will air an "Intimate Portrait" on Founder Ensler.
  • The March issue of Marie Claire will feature an exclusive essay by Ensler, set against a series of commissioned photographs by an award-winning group of Magnum photojournalists.
  • Paula Dorf's "V-Day" lipstick and Julie Haus' "Fashion For Peace: V-Day" clutch both hit stores nationally in January.
  • January 21-February 4, BARNEYS NEW YORK's flagship NYC store will dedicate its window display to V-Day, courtesy of Creative Director Simon Doonan.
  • January 21 - February 14, Eileen Fisher's 24 U.S. stores will feature V-Day/V-World themed windows.

Expanding programs at home

V-Day strives to bring attention to grassroots and often invisible groups of women. For 2003 V-Day expands its "Afghanistan Is Everywhere" campaign to "Afghanistan Is Everywhere: Spotlight on Native American and First Nations women." This campaign-wide Spotlight will place the issue in front of thousands. As part of the Spotlight, each local V-Day organizer is encouraged to donate up to 10% of their proceeds towards Native American and First Nations women.

A new international initiative to end violence – Africa, Asia and the Middle East

The V-Day team, led by Hibaaq Osman, Special Representative to Africa, Asia and the Middle East, is currently working in partnership with diverse women's networks in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Pakistan, India, Kenya and Afghanistan. The goal is to strengthen and support their common agenda of ending violence against women and girls, and bring an end to bride burnings, female genital mutilation (FGM), honor killings, sexual assault, rape and many other forms of gender-based violence. The team collaborates only with those organizations that have a commitment to working across ethnic, religious, and class lines.

For International Women's Day (March 8), V-Day is planning a return fact-finding visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The delegation will include Ensler, Fields, Osman, and members of international women's groups, funders, and celebrities who will continue dialogue, advance education, and build a plan for action.

Corporate support

V-Day applauds the generosity and commitment of its corporate sponsors. V-Day 2003 sponsors are: Dramatists Play Service, Inc., Eileen Fisher, Eziba, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hearst Magazines, Julie Haus Handbags, Lifetime Television, Liz Claiborne, Luna Bar, Marie Claire, Organon (Makers of NuvaRing), Paula Dorf, Peacekeeper, Tampax, Time Inc., and Vosges Haut Chocolat.

As V-Day 2003 unfolds, updated information, images and reports from the events and campaigns will be available at http://www.vday.org on an ongoing basis.

About V-Day

V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a palpable energy, a fierce catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop worldwide violence against women and girls including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sexual slavery. V-Day provides funding to create and nurture innovative programs to stop the violence.

Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers and college students produce annual benefit performances of "The Vagina Monologues" to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities.

V-Day itself stages large-scale benefits and promotes innovative gatherings and programs (The Afghan Women's Summit, The Stop Rape Contest, Indian Country Project, and more) to change social attitudes towards violence against women. In 2002, more than 800 V-Day benefit events were presented by local volunteer activists around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls.

The V-Day movement is growing at a rapid pace throughout the world. V-Day, a non-profit corporation, distributes funds to grassroots, national, and international organizations and programs that work to stop violence against women and girls. In its first year of incorporation (2001), V-Day was named one of Worth Magazine's "100 Best Charities." In its first five years, the V-Day movement has raised over $14 million, with over $7 million raised in 2002 alone.

The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.

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V-Day 2003 Events:

The V-Day Worldwide Campaign: V-Day benefit productions of "The Vagina Monologues" are confirmed to date in over 370 cities nationally and abroad to raise awareness and money for local groups in their communities that work to stop violence against women and girls. 40 countries are participating this year including Ghana, Botswana, Spain, Netherlands, Pakistan, Jamaica and Trinidad and
Tobago. For the first time, V-Day Nairobi will take place, presenting the premiere performance of "The Vagina Monologues" in Kenya. Organizers present the theatrical production from start to finish including casting, location scouting, ticket sales, publicity, and more. For the up to date listing of cities, http://www.vday.org/world.

The V-Day College Campaign: Much like the Worldwide Campaign, the College Campaign will bring V-Day benefit productions of "The Vagina Monologues" to more than 660 colleges and universities around the world in an effort to raise awareness and money for local anti-violence groups and empower the leaders and activists of the future. The number of international college V-Day's has increased dramatically this year in both the number of participating schools outside of the US and also in the variety of places that are represented. Of the 662 schools, 105 (about one sixth) are outside of the US and 61 (about one tenth) are outside of North America in places including England, Mexico, the Philippines, Malaysia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Australia, Kenya, China, Germany, the Czech Republic and Spain. For the listing of participating schools to date, go to http://www.vday.org/college.

Spotlights and Programs:

Afghanistan Is Everywhere: Spotlight on Native American and Canadian First Nations Women, The Indian Country Project:
V-Day's decision to focus on Indian Country this year emerged from a realization of a problem that is statistically and anecdotally well-documented. According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average annual rate of rape and sexual assault among American Indian women is 3.5 times higher than all other races. This rate continues to rise while Indian women and girls remain invisible as an at-risk population. Indian women often feel unable to address the violence because of complicated jurisdictional problems and lack of resources. Consequently, the high rate of abuse continues, unabated. Native American activist Suzanne Blue Star Boy has joined V-Day to lead the Indian Country Project, a campaign to end violence against women on all American Indian and Canadian First Nations Peoples lands. Her work will help generate awareness and fundraising in and for Native communities across the US and Canada. In its first year, 23 V-Day's representing over 50 tribes are taking place as part of the Indian Country Project on reservations and reserves in South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico, British Columbia, Toronto, Minnesota, Ontario, and Alaska. Tribes such as the Lakota, Algonquin, Cree, Squamish, Lil'wat Nation, Tlingit, Haida, Yup'ik, Inuit, 8 Northern Pueblos, Ojibwe, Chippewa, Mdewakanton, Chumash, Quenchan, Dakota, Athabaskin, Stl'atl'imx, Tsimpsian, and Lower Sioux are just a few of the tribes participating in and benefiting from this year's V-Day events. These V-Day events will gather Native Women to collectively envision and claim a future without violence against women and girls in their communities.

Africa, Asia And the Middle East: As part of the 2003 V-World vision, V-Day has launched a new initiative to end violence against women and girls in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Key coalition-building efforts have already begun via recent listening visits in Afghanistan, Brussels, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. In each country, meetings were held with a diverse group of politicians, grassroots leaders, artists, doctors, intellectuals and teenagers amidst a variety of locations and activities. The team will convene a diverse, strategic core group of women and women's organizations within each country in the regions.

Poetry Contest: A V-World poetry contest inviting women and men worldwide to create poetry inspired by the question, "What will the world look like when the violence ends?" was held. Submissions were accepted as of January 2003 and the winning entries will be announced on or around Valentine's Day (Exact date TBA).

PSA (Public Service Advertising) Campaign
This is a year-long, multi-media campaign. The series of print PSA's were shot pro bono by renowned photographer Joyce Tenneson and feature celebrities including Salma Hayek, Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda, Eve, Denyce Graves, Isabella Rossellini, Shiva Rose as well as V-Day activists from diverse countries including Kenya, Mexico, Afghanistan. PSA's are scheduled to run in Hearst magazines - including Marie Claire, O, Redbook, Bazaar and Good Housekeeping - as well as in various Time, Inc. magazines; ELLE Quebec; Velvet Park; URB; and many others. A companion TV campaign featuring celebrities including Julia Stiles, Julianna Margulies, Calista Flockhart, and everyday women speaking to the camera about what their world would look like if there was no violence, will launch in mid-February on Lifetime Television and will expand to other cable and broadcast networks throughout the year.

Lifetime "Intimate Portrait: Eve Ensler": On Tuesday, February 18, 7PM (ET/PT), Lifetime profiles the life of V-Day Founder/Artistic Director Eve Ensler. The profile includes interviews with celebrity V-Day supporters, including Calista Flockhart, Jane Fonda, Glenn Close, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Rosie Perez, Dylan McDermott, Kathy Najimy and Julia Stiles. The "Intimate Portrait: Eve Ensler" and the V-Day PSA's are scheduled to air as part of Lifetime's Stop Violence Against Women Campaign.

www.vday.org: In late January, V-Day will be launching a new web site, to better highlight the full range of V-Day activities taking place around the world. The site will feature increased photographs and V-artwork, and more interactive features for visitors.

Marie Claire: For their annual coverage of V-Day, Marie Claire delivers a startlingly realistic look at violence against women around the world via a photo essay, created in collaboration with Magnum photos and featuring the work of Magnum photojournalists Thomas Dworzak, Maya Goded, Susan Meiselas, and Patrick Zachmann, accompanied by an exclusive essay by Ensler about her relationship with violence, and "woman on the street" comments about what V-World will look like.

Barneys New York: Red boa alert! From Tuesday, January 21 through Tuesday, February 4, the store windows will be dedicated to V-Day, as created by Barneys Creative Director Simon Doonan.

Eileen Fisher: As a valentine's call to action, in the window of every Eileen Fisher retail store, a field of hearts, like flowers, poke up from their stems. It makes you stop on the sidewalk and peer in. Each heart has a word on it, ending the sentence: "When violence against women and girls ends, I will...praise, boogie, sizzle, parade, belong...love."

Julie Haus "Fashion For Peace: V-Day" Clutch: Houston-based new handbag designer Julie Haus has designed an exclusive clutch-style handbag, the "V-Day Fashion For Peace" clutch to raise funds for V-Day. Inspired by V-Day's 2003 Vision, Haus developed the "Fashion for Peace Campaign" as a line of handbags designed to raise awareness for the organizations that fight to end violence around the world.

Paula Dorf "V-Day" Lipstick: Paula Dorf helps support V-Day with the creation of "V-Day" Lipstick, a beautiful watermelon pink shade that looks great on everyone. A portion of the proceeds will go to V-Day.

Vosges Haut Chocolat: Vosges Haut Chocolat is donating to V-Day 25% of the proceeds from the sale of their Sophie's Boite Chapeau, an elegant hatbox filled with exotic truffles, couture cocoas and haut-chocolat.

PeaceKeeper: PeaceKeeper, a line of products for which All Profits, after taxes, are used to support women's health advocacy and human rights issues, while educating the consumer, is creating a lip gloss for V-Day, which will be soon available in retail stores and online.

CONTACT: Susan Celia Swan (212) 445-3288, press@vday.org