March 21, 2011
11-59

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

'The Vagina Monologues' to Support Haitian Women and Girls

 

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University will celebrate the strength and empowerment of women during the fifth annual benefit performance of Eve Ensler’s "The Vagina Monologues" at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 31-April 2, in the VSU Student Union Theater. 



The Department of Women's and Gender Studies (WGST) will host the performances as part of the 2011 observance of V-Day, a global non-profit movement established in 1998 to end violence against women and girls. Faculty, staff and students will perform the award-winning episodic play based on 200 interviews Ensler conducted with women about sex, relationships and violence against women.

Each year, the global V-Day celebration focuses on a specific group of marginalized women. The 2011 V-Day Spotlight Campaign highlights the courage and vision of the women and girls of Haiti. According to news reports, sexual violence against females has increased at an alarming rate since the devastating earthquake in January 2010. Funds raised at V-Day events throughout the world will support a national campaign in Haiti that is addressing sexual violence through art, advocacy, safe shelter and legal services.

Dr. Tracy Woodard-Meyers, WGST director, said that in addition to the women and girls of Haiti, the VSU campaign will also support local efforts established through the WGST Sexual Violence Education Program, which strives to promote responsible sexual relationships, work toward coordinated intervention and cultural change, and challenge men to embrace their roles as allies in violence prevention. Proceeds will also benefit Valdosta’s The Haven rape crisis center, which has been providing emergency shelter and services for victims of family violence and sexual assault since 1988.

“I think everyone should come out and support this event because it encourages the audience to think of women as sexual beings who are entitled to express sexual feelings and enjoy sexual experiences free of shame and guilt,” said Woodard-Meyers. “It encourages people to think more deeply about violence against women and how it affects their lives and the lives of those around them.”

Tickets to each performance, which costs $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors, may be purchased in advance at the WGST office in Carswell Hall, located at 1526 N. Oak St. Tickets may also be purchased at the door the night of the event, but since performances have sold out in the past, organizers encourage people to purchase tickets in advance.

Call WGST at 229-249-4842 for more information about this and other outreach/educational events that deal with gender and social justice issues. Read more about the global V-Day effort at http://drc.vday.org/ .