Students took to the stage to increase awareness about violence against women and girls in a performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues as part of a global V-Day movement.
The Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and Harvard College Women’s Center co-sponsored the student production which featured 20 short scenes that included both comic and heart-wrenching tributes to women around the world.
V-Day, which was started in 1998 by Ensler, is a global movement devoted to ending violence against women and girls.
Last year, there were more than 5,800 events celebrating V-Day around the world—many of which were held on college campuses across the U.S.
Events each year range from productions of The Vagina Monologues to film screenings to community briefings.
The goal of these events is to increase awareness and raise funds for anti-violence charities and organizations, said Sarah A. Rankin, director of OSAPR.
The proceeds from ticket sales benefited My Life My Choice, a local non-profit combatting the commercial sexual exploitation of teenage girls, and the V-Day Foundation’s Spotlight Campaign on the Women and Girls of Haiti.
The students involved in the production of the show were responsible for choosing a charity, according to Rankin.
“This year we decided to pick an agency that was small so it makes a big impact,” Rankin said.
Many of the monologues presented dealt with issues of violence against women. Several scenes directly addressed rape, violence facing the transgender community and female genital mutilation.
However the show also featured more light-hearted moments, including “My Angry Vagina,” a trio rant performed by Kimberly A. Onah ’15, Zoey A. Bergstrom ’15 and Leila H. Shayegan ’14 about tampons, thongs, and visits to the gynecologist.
“What If I Told You I Didn’t Have a Vagina”, performed by Susan Fendell, Alice Abracen ’15, and Zuzanna K. Wojcieszak ’13, was dedicated to the City of Joy, a community of women rape survivors in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, which was co-developed by V-Day, UNICEF, and the Panzi Foundation.
Maddie L. Coveno ’14 and Christina C. Twicken ’14 performed “My Vagina Was My Village,” a monologue in honor of the thousands of victims of rape as a “systematic tactic of war” in Kosovo and Bosnia in the 1990s.
“I hope that people who have never seen the monologues before start thinking about sexual assault and violence on a global scale,” said Rankin.