Eve Ensler received international fame with her 1996 hit play The Vagina Monologues, which is a celebration of women’s bodies and women’s empowerment. The play was first performed in Greenwich Village’s Cornelia Street Café and has since been translated into over 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. Celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Glenn Close and Cyndi Lauper have all starred in the play.
Ensler also performed her play, The Good Body, on Broadway in 2004 which was followed by a tour of twenty North American cities. The Good Body tackles the question of why women from different cultures and backgrounds change their appearances to correspond with what they think society expects of them.
In February 2010, Ensler released her newest work; I Am An Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around The World, which is a collection of original monologues written to inspire girls to be self-confident and to embrace their minds, bodies, hearts and curiosities.
Other works by Eve Ensler include: Here The Treatment, Necessary Targets, Conviction, Lemonade, The Depot, Floating Rhoda and The Glue Man, Extraordinary Measures, Insecure at Last and A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A PrayerVDay Homepage.
Activism for Women
Inspired by her performances of The Vagina Monologues, Ensler founded the organization ‘V-Day’ in 1998, which has since become a global activist movement to stop sexual violence against women and girls. The organization provides resources for anti-violence organizations around the world and works to draw international attention to the ongoing fight to end violence against women and girls (including rape, battery, The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) , Female genital cutting and sex slavery). Through large-scale benefits, innovative gatherings, films and campaigns, the organization has raised over $80 million and reached over 300 million people over the past thirteen years.
Ensler has travelled extensively to promote V-Day events and to meet with the organizations they support, but her first trip to Gender Equality in Democratic Gender Equality in the Republic of Congo was the inspiration for her most recent activism. In Ensler’s powerful essay “Congo Cancer” she describes the deliberate and brutal rape, torture and violence against women and girls in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This ‘femicide’ (V-Day’s term for these brutalities) has left an unconfirmed number of women and children scarred physically and emotionally and left many infected with or deadHost Madison Homepage.
Ensler and her organization have been working with the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, which is one of the only facilities where women can get adequate medical attention. After meeting with victims there, Ensler and V-Day established “The City of Joy” which opened on February 4th, 2011. In the midst of her battle with uterine cancer, Ensler attended the opening of this revolutionary community of women survivors of violence in Bukavu. The center is a safe haven for women and their children who have survived these atrocities and will provide 180 Congolese women a year with therapy, medical attention, sexual education, self-defense training, economic empowerment, dance, theater and horticulture.Les Monologues du Vagin Since the center was the vision of the victims that met with Ensler, The City of Joy is run, operated and directed by Congolese women. The women work to turn the victims’ “pain into power” to hopefully have a positive impact on the Congolese society.
- Democratic Gender Equality in the Republic of Congo