It's the world's most empowering holiday for women and girls, and it isn't even on the standard household calendar.
It's V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls celebrated on or around Valentine's Day. It relies on creativity to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize existing anti-violence organizations, and it began with one woman -- playwright Eve Ensler -- whose groundbreaking work, The Vagina Monologues, gave voice to women around the globe.
Celebrating its 12th anniversary in 2010, V-Day is the catalyst for a series of events throughout February and March that generate broader interest in stopping violence against females of all ages. To see what what V-Day events are happening in your area, search by city, zip code, or country on the V-Day events website.
This year, in conjunction with V-Day, Eve Ensler is releasing a new book. I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World is a collection of monologues inspired by the challenges and pressures faced by girls across a variety of countries and cultures.
According to publisher Random House:
Among the girls Ensler creates are an American who struggles with peer pressure in a suburban high school; an anorexic blogging as she eats less and less; a Masai girl from Kenya unwilling to endure female genital mutilation; a Bulgarian sex slave, no more than fifteen, a Chinese factory worker making Barbies; an Iranian student who is tricked into a nose job; a pregnant girl trying to decide if she should keep her baby.
Through rants, poetry, questions, and facts, we come to understand the universality of girls everywhere: their resiliency, their wildness, their pain, their fears, their secrets, and their triumphs.
To engage girls and young women in what they call "empowerment philanthropy," V-Day has developed V-girls.org to provide an outlet to speak out and inspire activism. At the v-girls.org website is a powerful short video that every teen, tween, and young woman should see, along with forums for girls, the V-girls blog, and the stories of featured activists.