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GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

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The V-Monologues
an article by Nasim Novin

It was inspiring to see the spirit of a culture of peace and non-violence come to life through the magic of theater at the annual production of the Vagina Monologues at UCSD (University of California at San Diego). This play is part of the V-Day campaign, an international movement that strives to end violence against women and girls. The spotlight of this year’s V-Day addressed the plight of woman in conflict zones because war often renders women especially vulnerable to crimes of violence. This V-Day also celebrated the effort of women around the world who often lead initiatives to rebuild communities and promote peace in their war-torn countries.

The young actresses embodied the struggle, pain and exquisite beauty of womanhood in the profoundly moving monologues they delivered. Each actress told a true story - of a Bosnian woman raped by soldiers - of a Japanese comfort woman forced into sexual slavery during World War II. Despite the violence and abuse, I saw in each woman’s story a measure of resilience that renewed my faith in humanity’s ability to overcome violence and injustice. Each woman’s personal triumph was a triumph for peace and equality. Each woman’s display of self-respect and dignity was an assertion of the respect and dignity due to every person.

What I appreciated most about the production is that it not only raised awareness about the global struggle to end violence against women, but it also addressed the issue on a local level. Ninety percent of the proceeds from the Vagina Monologues went to a non-profit organization based in San Diego called License to Freedom. This organization assists abused refugee and immigrant women become self-sufficient and free from violence. Through community education and crisis intervention License to Freedom is working to promote non-violence and improve the livelihoods of many women.

For more information about License to Freedom you can visit www.licensetofreedom.org.

DISCUSSION

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Violence against women, What can we do to end it?,

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LATEST READER COMMENT:

Concerning the potential of the Olympics to promote a culture of peace, we have received at CPNN the following observation about the 2012 Olympics from Palestinian activist Mazin Qumsiyeh.

I was proud to watch the great reception of the South African team which achieved several medals at the Olympics.  They were of mixed background: white and black, and various religions.  The all Zionist, all Jewish Israeli team were losers (and I am not speaking here of medals but of principles) who returned here without fanfare to an apartheid state reminds us that this cannot last.  But I dreamt of living to go welcome at the Lod Airport a winning Palestine Olympics team that includes Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  I know that this future of one democratic state is coming.  The example of South Africa is worth looking into.  Much struggle remains to be done in South Africa to achieve equality especially in economic issues. But we are long past the days when leaders of Apartheid South Africa met and collaborated in developing nuclear weapons and modes of repression with Jewish state leaders.
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This report was posted on March 13, 2007.