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V-Day 2004: Celebrating Vagina Warriors




Over 2000 community-based V-Day benefit events of “The Vagina Monologues” to take place February - March 2004 in the U.S. and around the world

December 2, 2003 – V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls founded by playwright Eve Ensler, announces its 2004 theme: Celebrating Vagina Warriors.

The theme will be reflected throughout the movement’s campaigns, special events, documentary (“Until The Violence Stops”) and media building on the momentum of V-Day’s 2003 season during which over 1,000 V-Day benefit events were presented by volunteer activists around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls, raising $4 million and benefiting over 1000 organizations. V-Day 2003 events took place in cities as far reaching as Ukiah, CA; Islamabad, Pakistan; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Lubumbashi, Congo; and Nairobi, Kenya where the proceeds went to the re-opening of a women’s shelter that had closed its doors due to lack of funding.


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 since it was conceived as a worldwide movement to empower and enable local activists to raise awareness and funds locally through V-Day benefit productions of "The Vagina Monologues." This year, V-Day's 2004 events and campaigns will celebrate these women whom Founder/Artistic Director Eve Ensler has dubbed ‘Vagina Warriors.’ Each V-Day production will select and honor up to three Vagina Warriors in its own community.

In every community there are humble activists working every day, beat by beat, to undo suffering. They sit by hospital beds, pass new laws, chant taboo words, write proposals, beg for money, demonstrate and hold vigils in the streets. Every woman has a warrior inside waiting to be born. In order to guarantee a world without violence, in a time of danger and escalating madness, we urge them to come out.
-Eve Ensler

The season will launch at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT with a special benefit premiere of “Until The Violence Stops,” the first documentary about V-Day (date and location details TBA). V-Day 2004 benefit productions of “The Vagina Monologues” are currently being planned in over 900 cities and colleges around the world, with over 2000 events to attend in 41 countries. In Los Angeles, a V-Day for and by the transgender community is being produced. To date, locations include Madras, Bombay, & New Delhi, India; Antwerp, Belgium; Esch-Sur-Alvette, Luxembourg; Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Beirut, Lebanon; Lubumbashi, Congo; Brno, Czech Republic; Helsinki, Finland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Denpasar and Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Vilnius, Lithuania; Bilboa, Spain; Vienna, Austria; and colleges including Harvard University, Whittier College, American University in Cairo, University of Delaware, University of Georgia; Notre Dame University; Tulane University; University of Southern Maine, MIT, Sarah Lawrence; University of Wyoming; and Cal State Polytechnic, to name a few.

This fall, V-Day has launched an evolving series of gatherings and events in NYC entitled “V-Day: Celebrating Vagina Warriors.” The first event featured an intimate evening with prominent leaders and media for Pakistani activist Shahnaz Bukhari, on the eve of her receiving the Civil Courage Prize. Ms. Bukhari is a recent V-Day beneficiary and the Founder and Director of the Progressive Women's Association (PWA), a grassroots organization in Pakistan which protects abused women, raises awareness of their plight, and pushes for legal and societal reform. This was followed by an evening on November 17 at Culture Project@45 Bleecker Street featuring Iraqi activist, Founder of the Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq, Yanar Mohammed interviewed by Eve Ensler. On Monday, December 15 at 7PM ET, the series continues at Culture Project with “Palestinian and Israeli Women Uninterrupted: An Evening Of Compassionate Listening,” featuring Israeli and Palestinian writers Liana Badr, Yvonne Deutsch, Rema Hammami, Rela Mazali interviewed by Eve Ensler, with a reading by Suad Amiry.

In 2004, outreach will expand and continue via two of V-Day’s fastest growing campaigns: the Indian Country Project and Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Over 25 tribal communities held V-Day benefits in 2003. The Indian Country Project, directed by Suzanne Blue Star Boy, focuses on raising the awareness of V-Day as a model for education about the issue of violence against Native women and communicates to the Native and Canadian First Nations communities through the V-Day College and Worldwide campaigns throughout the U.S. and internationally. Spearheaded by V-Day’s Special Representative Hibaaq Osman, awareness of the issue of violence against women grows daily in Africa, Asia and the Middle East via key events such as V-Day Islamabad 2003; the funding of the first women’s shelter in Egypt in Cairo; and the first V-Day events in India around International Women’s Day March 8, 2004.


First Documentary about V-Day: Until The Violence Stops
In 2002, eight hundred cities participated in V-Day, which grew out of Ensler's play, "The Vagina Monologues." "Until the Violence Stops" is a one-hour commercial-free documentary that follows the grassroots impact of V-Day in five international communities while exposing the pervasive and cultural forms of violence that women experience all over the world. Directed by Abby Epstein, the story begins at a star-studded V-Day benefit at Harlem's Apollo Theater and travels to regional events in Ukiah California, the Philippines and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, culminating in the opening of the first V-Day Safe House for girls in Kenya. What emerges is an alternately devastating and hopeful look at the global and grassroots efforts in motion to stop violence against women and girls. Featuring appearances by Tantoo Cardinal, Rosario Dawson, Eve Ensler, Jane Fonda, LisaGay Hamilton, Salma Hayek, Rosie Perez, and Isabella Rossellini among others.

“Until The Violence Stops” is slated to have its debut at a benefit premiere in January at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival launching the film and the V-Day 2004 season. The Sundance premiere will be followed by a series of V-Day benefit premieres in San Francisco, Ukiah (CA), Miami, Westchester, Atlanta, and Santa Fe.

The documentary will have its commercial free television broadcast premiere on Lifetime Television February 17, 2004 at 10:00PM ET/PT.

V-Day 2004 Spotlight on Women in Juarez

In the past decade, over 300 women and girls have been killed or disappeared in Juarez, immediately across the border from El Paso, Texas. Many of the victims were raped, mutilated and tortured. One of the victims was a six-year-old girl. Despite the fact that these murders have persisted over the past decade, there has not been significant progress in providing protection to the women of Juarez or in bringing the perpetrators to justice. For its 2004 benefit season and awareness campaign, V-Day will make Juarez its ‘Spotlight,’ placing the issue in front of thousands of people in the U.S. and around the world and working closely with Amnesty International. Last month, Ensler traveled to Juarez for a story on the missing young women in Juarez to appear in Marie Claire’s March issue. On February 14, 2004, V-Day will mount a mass action - a V-Day March on Juarez - to make clear that we can wait no longer, we cannot stand by as more bodies appear.


We invite all citizens of the world to join us in a global action in Juarez, Mexico. We invite you to take back the streets, demand justice in the murders of the 300, hear the stories of mothers, openly dance for freedom and justice. Bring your mothers, your sisters, your brothers, your best friends. Stop the violence in Juarez and let it be the beginning of ending violence around the world. BE RESOURCEFUL - TAKE A PLANE, TRAIN, BUS, CAR, VAN, TAXI, TRUCK. GET THERE. THE NEW PARADIGM BEGINS IN JUAREZ WITH YOU.

V-Day NYC 2004

V-Day’s annual NYC fundraiser will be a 200 person, $1000 per ticket event featuring select pieces from Eve Ensler’s upcoming play “The Good Body” followed by a larger $150 per ticket after-party at BARNEYS NEW YORK. Gleaned from her travels around the world, Eve Enslers's "The Good Body" investigates with honesty and humor how women of all backgrounds hide, mutilate, shrink and transform their bodies in order to fit into their cultures or "be good." BARNEYS NEW YORK will celebrate V-Day in the windows of their flagship Madison Ave. store in early February.


“V Is For Vote” is a grassroots voting campaign created with and by the thousands of local V-Day activists and organizers in the U.S. V-Day women and girls will mount local register and get out the vote efforts using their February/March 2004 V-Day events as anchors. V-Day is outreaching to all of the political candidates of all parties urging them to make Violence Against Women a central issue of their campaign platforms, not a sideline or women’s issue. Ultimately, V-Day will mobilize its activism into political power through “V Is For Vote” as V-Day supporters “Vote to End Violence.” Get your pussy posse to the polls! This campaign is part of Women Elect The Future, a collaborative effort with The White House Project, to inspire women to vote, participate fully in democracy as citizens and as leaders, and to create a platform around the central issue of security – personal, national, and international.

PSA Campaign – Print and TV

V-Day will extend its premiere PSA campaign through 2005. In 2003 in conjunction with renowned portrait photographer Joyce Tenneson (Wise Women) and Lifetime Television, V-Day created and executed its first ever print and television PSA campaign featuring celebrities and activists articulating their vision of a world without violence. Funded with a budget of $15,000, the campaign has run in over 20 national magazines including TIME, Spin, O, Marie Claire, Bazaar, Redbook, CosmoGirl, Elle Quebec, Velvet Park, Pennsylvania Health & Fitness, American, Nylon and Razor. The companion TV campaign premiered on Lifetime Television in February 2003 and began airing this Fall on ABC Network, Bravo, USA and numerous local stations nationwide. The campaign has become self-generating as with each new media placement; magazines, newspapers and local anti-violence groups request PSAs for publication. The campaign is featured and available via


V-Day is proud to announce our 2004 sponsors who have generously contributed to our efforts to end violence against women and girls: BARNEYS NEW YORK, Bobbie Brown, Dramatist Play Service, Eileen Fisher, Fairmont Hotels And Resorts, Hearst, Lifetime Television, Luna, Marie Claire, Tampax, Time Inc. and Vosges Haut Chocolate.

About V-Day:
V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls. V-Day is a 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 stages large-scale benefits and produces innovative gatherings, films, and programs to educate and change social attitudes towards violence against women. These include the upcoming 2004 documentary “Until The Violence Stops”; community briefings with Amnesty International on the missing and murdered women of Juarez, Mexico; the December 2002 V-Day delegation trip to Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan; the Afghan Women's Summit; the Stop Rape Contest; and the Indian Country Project.

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. In 2003, over 1,000 V-Day benefit events were presented by volunteer activists around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls and raising US$4 million to combat it.

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 end 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 six years, the V-Day movement has raised over $20 million.

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