‘The Vagina Monologues’ set to raise awareness, funds March 27-28

March 24, 2015 | Events, UToday, — Health Sciences
By Lindsay Mahaney

One in every three women will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime — a staggering statistic that is being combated across the globe with the V-Day campaign. This March, The University of Toledo will take part in the movement to end violence.

Vagina Monologues poster“The Vagina Monologues” will be presented Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28, at 7 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium.

The show, which is sponsored by the UT Counseling Center, is an effort to raise money and awareness for ending violence against women.

“It’s traditional to have the show in the time period that’s known as the V-day season, so Valentine’s Day through April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” said Alcy Barakat, a second-year master of public health student, who is directing the performance.

Based on American playwright Eve Ensler’s monologue — which used interviews from women of different age, race and origin — the all-female show will delve into the many different feminine experiences that the body goes through, varying from sexual assault to the birth of a child.

When the show premiered in 1994, it ignited the V-Day movement, a global campaign of grassroots activists dedicated to generating broader attention and funds to stop violence against women and girls. The movement supports the show on college campuses and theaters worldwide with all proceeds going toward ending violence. With a presence in more than 140 countries, millions of dollars are raised annually.

This year’s show at UT will benefit Steinem’s Sisters, a feminist lending library and archive in northwest Ohio established to honor Gloria Steinem and sustain feminist thought, values and culture. The ongoing project is working toward a stand-alone nonprofit community place that will serve as a feminist education center and library. The funds raised will be put toward purchasing books and materials that can be checked out at the People Called Women feminist bookstore, 6060 Renaissance Place, Toledo.

“Women talking about themselves, having the power to talk about themselves and not being afraid to talk about themselves; the implication of having the freedom to talk about your body is humongous,” Barakat said. “In a personal sense, in a relationship sense, in a health sense — it has a lot of reach. I think that’s why I’m so personally invested.”

Preceding the show, a resource fair will be held starting at 6 p.m. and feature local organizations and businesses owned and operated by women.

Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for general admission and can be purchased at the door.

For more information, contact Barakat at alcy.barakat@rockets.utoledo.edu.

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