|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
JUNE 8, 2004
|CONTACT: V Is For Vote
V-Day Launches 'V Is For Vote' Campaign to Rally The Vagina Vote Towards Ending Violence Against Women and Girls
NEW YORK - June 8 - V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, announced today the launch of V Is For Vote, a grassroots voting campaign aimed at inspiring women to vote and to elevate violence against women as an important issue in the 2004 Elections. To drive this message home, women from across the country gathered last night at the Culture Project Theatre in New York City with V-Day Founder/ Playwright Eve Ensler, who channeled the unstoppable power of the arts and activism to motivate and inspire women to vote.
"V-Day is made up of thousands of activists and voting is one form of activism. We are here today to encourage all women to 'Value Your Vagina - Vote!' and to make ending the rampant violence against women which affects one in three women in the world a central focus of politics alongside jobs, healthcare, and security," said Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day and playwright of The Vagina Monologues, and The Good Body. "More than 22 million registered female voters did not vote in the 2000 presidential election. We need to get out there and support political leaders and legislation that will end violence against women."
Event highlights included a political call to power led by Eve Ensler, a preview of a new performance piece created by Rha Goddess on young women and voting entitled "We Got Issues!" with special remarks from actor/activist Kathy Najimy.
"This election, more than ever ... we show up at the polls with our hearts and our souls and we vote for freedom, equality, and to save women's lives,"said V-Day supporter actor/activist Kathy Najimy.
THE ISSUE: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Why should violence against women and girls be central to the 2004 election? A two-year study conducted by the Center for the Advancement of Women shows that women want a new movement with new priorities. In the nationally representative study 92% of women identified that reducing domestic and sexual violence is their top policy priority, followed by pay equity, childcare and healthcare. In addition, a nationally representative poll conducted by Penn and Schoen demonstrated that 92% of Americans believe that violence against women is an important problem that is not getting enough attention and the majority (55%) thinks that law enforcement agencies are not doing enough to prevent it.
Unmarried women are the LARGEST group of people not participating in our democracy, and have the greatest potential to change the outcome of this election. Sixteen million unmarried women are unregistered; more than 22 million didn't vote in 2000. Over 75% of V-Day activists are college age and fall within this category.
THE CAMPAIGN - V IS FOR VOTE: 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 is outreaching to the political candidates urging them to make Violence Against Women a central issue of their campaign platform alongside jobs, education, msecurity and healthcare, 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." V Is For Vote. The message is simple, but for millions of women and children around the world, it could mean the difference of a lifetime.
Throughout the summer, V-Posse leaders will register, educate about the issue, and get out the vote in their communities. To date, the campaign has leader/activists signed up in over 30 states. V-Day activists will stage V Is For Vote events across the country with Ensler appearing at select events pending her performance schedule.
Two key events:
WOMEN AND POWER: OUR TIME TO LEAD - Presented by Omega and V-Day, September 11-13, 2004 at NYC's Sheraton New York Hotel, the conference is a unique gathering for women who want to redefine power and lead from core female values. In addition to Eve Ensler, other leaders will include Jane Fonda, Academy Award-winning actor, social activist; Gloria Steinem, activist, author, founder of Ms. Foundation for Women; Julia Stiles, actor; Pat Mitchell, president of PBS and its first female chief executive, former president of CNN Productions and Time Inc. Television; Carole Black, president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment and many more. http://www.eomega.org
VAGINAS VOTE, CHICKS ROCK - On Monday, September 13, V-Day's "V is For Vote" and Rock the Vote's "Chicks Rock, Chicks Vote" in conjunction with Omega and The White House Project's "Vote, Run, Lead" are joining to produce THE event of the 2004 Election season. Actors, singers, rappers, dancers, thinkers and leaders will all come together at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem for a night of entertainment and political empowerment. Confirmed talent (list in formation): Shohreh Aghdasloo, Eve Ensler, Jane Fonda, Rha Goddess, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Susan Sarandon (pending availability), Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Julia Stiles, and many more. This event takes place less than two months before the presidential election and we are using the power of arts and activism to motivate and inspire all women, especially young women to raise their voices and get out the vote. To be the first to hear when tickets go on sale, sign up for V-mail at vday.org/vmail
V-Day has made great strides in working to end violence against women. Since the organization's inception in 1998, V-Day has raised more than $25 million for grassroots groups working to end violence against women and girls in their communities, and the V-Day movement continues to grow at a rapid pace throughout the world. In its first year of incorporation (2001), V-Day was named one of Worth Magazine's "100 Best Charities." The "V" in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina -- and through November 2nd, for VOTE.
V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Activist/V-Day Founder Eve Ensler's award-winning play The Vagina Monologues. In 2004, more than 2000 V-Day events will take place in the U.S. and around the world. To date, V-Day has raised over $20 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted national media and PSA campaigns, funded over 2000 community-based anti-violence programs, reopened shelters, and built safe houses in Kenya,South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq.