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European Parliament Performs "The Vagina Monologues" as a Cross-Party Call to Action to End Violence Against Women and Girls

03/05/2012

Press Release

Contact: press(at)vday.org

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PERFORMS "THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES" AS A CROSS-PARTY CALL TO ACTION TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

Today in the European Parliament, nine MEPs¹ are joining V-Day founder/Tony award winning playwright Eve Ensler in a very special and unique performance of « The Vagina Monologues » to raise public and EU decision makers' awareness on the importance to put an end to violence against women and girls in Europe and around the world.

"I am very moved and proud to join with women Members of the European Parliament who are standing with women across Europe and the world and putting their vision, votes, hearts and vaginas on the line to end violence against women and girls", said Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day. "Their participation in V-Day signals the beginning of the rising²."

This performance is part of V-Day's 2012 season of events and campaigns, joining over 1,850 colleges and communities around the world that will host V-Day benefit events, raising funds and awareness for local groups working to end the violence. This year events are also launching a year-long global campaign: ONE BILLION RISING. V-Day's most ambitious campaign yet, ONE BILLION RISING will culminate on February 14, 2013, V-Day's 15th anniversary, when women, activists, and concerned citizens across the world will organize community gatherings to express their outrage, demand change, strike, and dance in defiance of the injustices they have suffered.

In Europe, 45% of women have suffered from violence that includes sexual abuse, domestic violence, genital mutilation, sexual harassment in the workplace or at the college and university, rape, forced sterilisation, and trafficking for sexual exploitation³. The effects of this widespread violence against women affect not only the survivors and their families; it has a profound impact on the EU's economy. Today, domestic violence alone costs the EU an estimated 16 billion Euros per year, amounting to 1 million Euros every half hour. If the budgets for prevention of this violence were increased by just 1 Euro, it could save 87 Euro in total costs of dealing with the violence.

The extent and impact of violence against women in Europe remains staggering in contrast to the actions currently in place to end it. V-Day European Parliament aims to change this by bringing EU political leaders together through Ensler's seminal play to make the message heard that ending violence against women and girls is the most important issue of our time.

Tonight's event is an urgent call to action on European decision makers to:

  • honour their existing commitments (including to devise a European Strategy for preventing and combating violence against women, and to apply the existing policies and guidelines on combating violence against women in external action);
  • ensure that future policies and programmes such as the 2014-2020 Rights and Citizenship Programme include ending violence against women and girls as a specific objective and ensure appropriate funding for implementation;
  • sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (EU and all Member States)4.

END

¹ Franziska Brantner (Greens, Germany), Isabelle Durant (Greens, Belgium), Marielle Gallo (EPP, France), Ana Gomes (S&D, Portugal), Kartika Tamara Liotard (GUE NGL, Netherlands), Ulrike Lunacek (Greens, Austria), Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, Finland), Renate Weber (ALDE, Romania) and Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, Sweden).
² On 14th February 2013, V-Day, on the occasion of its 15th Anniversary, is inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to violence against women and girls (see more below in the note to the editors).
³ See European Women's Lobby Briefing on "Violence against women in the EU" (March 2012)
4 Please see more details in annex: Annex 1, Annex 2

Note to the Editors:

({About V-Day})
V-Day is a global activist 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 and other artistic works. In 2012, over 5,800 V-Day benefit events are taking place produced by volunteer activists in the U.S. and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $85 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 13,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq. Over 300 million people have seen a V-Day benefit event in their community. V-Day has received numerous acknowledgements including Worth Magazine's 100 Best Charities (2001), Marie Claire Magazine's Top Ten Charities (2006), one of the Top-Rated organizations on Great Nonprofits (2010). The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina. Find out more on www.vday.org

({About One Billion Rising})
One in three women on the planet is raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is ONE BILLION WOMEN violated. One billion daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, lovers and friends. On 14th February 2013, V-Day's 15th Anniversary, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men to dance across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers and our solidarity across borders.

Join V-Day and ONE BILLION RISING today and SAY NO to violence against women and girls.

Find out more on www.onebillionrising.org