Eve Ensler, Tony Award winning playwright, performer, activist, author of The Vagina Monologues and founder of the international One Billion Rising movement, arrives in Zimbabwe on Wednesday 23 July to engage with grassroots women leaders and organisations working on issues pertaining to ending violence against women.
The Vagina Monologues was first produced as a play in 1996. It consists of a number of monologues that explore issues that women deal with on a day to day basis in a frank, matter-of-fact manner. The monologues touch on issues such as menstruation, masturbation, sex, rape, birth and orgasm. The overall theme is that of reclaiming the vagina as tool for empowerment and as a part of the body that women should not be ashamed of.
The monologues have been translated into over 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries, including here in Zimbabwe.
In 1998 Ensler spearheaded the formation of V-Day, a non-profit organisation that has raised millions of dollars for women’s anti-violence groups around the world. V-Day organises the annual One Billion Rising event where tens of thousands of men and women all over the world express their stand against gender-based violence through dance.
On her Zimbabwe visit, Ensler will be accompanied by V-Day director, Monique Wilson, who is also an internationally renowned women’s activist. Wilson is a member of Gabriela – a national alliance of grassroots women’s organizations in the Philippines, and is the Director of International Affairs of the Gabriela Women’s Party. She is also the international spokesperson for the Purple Rose Campaign aimed at ending the sex trafficking of Filipino women and children.
Speaking about her trip to Zimbabwe Ensler said; “We are excited about this trip because we have heard about all the amazing work that Women’s organisations are doing in Zimbabwe. We are hoping to use this opportunity to learn more about women’s issues in the country and to meet with some of the tireless grassroots women leaders.”
She said they were also hoping to meet with One Billion Rising Organisers in Zimbabwe to plan for the 2015 edition of the movement. They were also hoping to bring the issues and context of women in Zimbabwe onto a global platform.