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V-Day Founder Eve Ensler to Tour India and Bangladesh in Lead Up to One Billion Rising

01/03/2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Jen Hirsch
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Susan Swan / V-Day
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Ensler to Speak About V-Day’s Global Day of Action to End Violence Against Women and Girls in Trivandrum, Mumbai, Delhi and Dhaka

NEW YORK (January 3, 2013) – Eve Ensler, activist, award-winning playwright and founder of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls, announces the continuation of her tour to raise awareness about V-Day’s ONE BILLION RISING campaign(http://www.onebillionrising.org). Following stops last year in Australia, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Croatia, Serbia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, and the Philippines, Ensler will visit Trivandrum, Mumbai, and Delhi, India, and Dhaka, Bangladesh this month.

V-Day’s ONE BILLION RISING campaign, launched in early 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On February 14, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities and women and men across the world will come together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.

The campaign is V-Day’s most ambitious to date, with activists in 182 countries signed on to take action, and over 13,000 organizations around the globe participating, including Sangat, MTV, Amnesty International USA, International Rescue Committee, NOW, Human Rights Campaign, AFL-CIO, European Women’s Lobby, WAVE (Women Against Violence Europe) Network, Verein Autonome Österreichische Frauenhäuser, Centro de Informacion y Desarrollo de la Mujer (CIDEM), Isis Internacional, Asmita Resource Center for Women, and Vaginas Campansinas.

ONE BILLION RISING is also gaining momentum on social media – the hashtag #1billionrising has become widely used and just this past week #MenRise was created by activists in connection with the campaign as men across the world participate and join One Billion Rising.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has come out in support of the campaign and actors and V-Day board members Jane Fonda, Rosario Dawson, Donna Karan, Thandie Newton, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington along with Farhan Akhtar, Javed Akhtar, Jessica Alba, Habana Azmi, Kamla Bhasin, Rahul Bose, Connie Britton, Kate Clinton, Nandita Das, Longiuns Ernandez, Anne Hathaway, Rosie Huntington–Whitely, Kaizaad Kotwal, Zoe Kravitz, Jennifer Lawrence, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, Dylan McDermott, Yoko Ono, Robert Redford, Mallika Sarabhai, Aparna Sen, Dr. Nandita Shah, Elizabeth Sombart, Sakshi Tanwar, Dolly Thakore, Lily Tomlin, Usha Uthup, and others, are activating their networks to spread the word.

Ensler continues her multi-continent tour this week in the lead up to ONE BILLION RISING with stops in India and Bangladesh. Following the horrific gang rape of a23-year-old woman on a Delhi bus and her subsequent death from injuries incurred by the brutal attack, Ensler will meet with women’s and activist groups to discuss planned demonstrations and will speak, along with other notable Indian figures, about ending the culture of rape and violence.

Kamla Bhasin, co-founder of Sangat, a South Asian feminist network, and One Billion Rising South Asia coordinator, stated, “One Billion Rising is a feminist tsunami; we are seeing a renewed energy for change throughout India and South Asia. We must work in each family to practice equality, democracy, and full dignity of women and girls. I think of saving our men and boys from becoming violent, aggressive, selfish, and macho. Once we are allbetter, loving, all our institutions will be better. The protests in India this time have created some hope. Violence against women is no more an issue for the women's movement, many others are now owning it.”

Indian philosopher, activist, and author Vandana Shiva wrote a column for the One Billion Rising article series which launches today on Huffington Post . In it she writes, “The victim of the Delhi gang rape has triggered a social revolution. We must sustain it, deepen it, and expand it. We must demand and get speedy and effective justice for women. And while we do all this we need to change the ruling paradigm which is imposed on us in the name of‘growth,’ and which is fueling increasing crimes against women. Ending violence against women includes moving beyond the violent economy shaped by capitalist patriarchy to non-violent peaceful, economies which give respect to women and the Earth.”

Ensler will attend the following events in India and Bangladesh. Events have been coordinated by Sangat and One Billion Rising activists in all four cities. Longtime V-Day activists Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and Kaizaad Kotwal of Poor-Box Productions are coordinating events in Mumbai and Delhi:

  • January 2, Trivandrum: Press conference with leaders of Kerala women’s organizations at the Trivandrum Press Club
  • January 2, Trivandrum: Round table discussion on the response of men to women’s participation in public life and their role in ending violence against women at the Trivandrum YWCA
  • January 3, Trivandrum: Public meeting and Q & A with cultural and social leaders on ending violence against women and girls in Malayalam
  • January 3, Trivandrum: March to rally in Gandhi park with performances by local artist, activist, and youth groups
  • January 4, Mumbai: Press conference with Sakshi Tanwar, Nandita Das, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, Kaizaad Kotwal, Dolly Thakore, and Dr. Nandita Shah at Jai Hind College Auditorium, followed by meetings with women’s and youth organizations
  • January 5, Mumbai: Rally to raise awareness about safety and violence in public places with guest speakers Rahul Bose, Longiuns Ernandez, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, and Kaizaad Kotwal at Jai Hind College Auditorium
  • January 6, Mumbai: NGO Summit with over 60 NGOs to discuss violence in the home including domestic violence and the issue of sex selection at Lokmanya Tilak Hospital
  • January 6, Mumbai: Benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues with special Bollywood guest stars including Chitrangda Singh, Suchitra Pillai, Manasi Scott, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, Dilnaz Irani, Rasika Duggal, Varshaa Agnihotri, and Dolly Thakore at the Palladium Mall
  • January 6, Mumbai: Gala dinner to honor Ensler and others and celebrate 10 years of The Vagina Monologues in India with performances by Usha Utup, Poorna Jagannathan, Suchitra Pillai, Manasi Scott, and Sarosh Nanavaty.
  • January 7, Delhi: Press conference with activist and feminist leader Kamla Bhasin at the Delhi Press Club
  • January 7, Delhi: ONE BILLION RISING event andpremier performance of “Broken Wings of Women” by Mallika Sarabhai and Elizabeth Sombart at the FICCI Auditorium
  • January 8, Delhi: Activist meetings to discuss ONE BILLION RISING at Delhi University
  • January 8, Delhi: Special performance of The Vagina Monologues at The Blue Frog Terrace
  • January 8, Delhi: Activist meetings to discuss ONE BILLION RISING at Delhi University
  • January 9-11, Dhaka: Programs and schedule to be announced

In February, Eve will visit Paris, London, and Bukavu. For more information, visit http://www.onebillionrising.org.

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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 organized byvolunteer activists in the U.S. took place 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 $90 million; 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, Marie Claire Magazine's Top Ten Charities, one of the Top-Rated organizations on Philanthropedia/Guidestar and Great Nonprofits. www.vday.org