As many have already heard, the Women’s Center at LPTS is taking the lead in sponsoring a week of events centered on V-Day, February 2009. As part of the process, we registered our group for V-Mail — email updates from V-Day.org with information about the national and international project of which our events will be a local manifestation.
We just got our first V-Mail — and it is beautiful! Alas for Wimminwise readers, our technical staff (ahem . . . a long way to say “I”) hasn’t found a way just to post the message for our readers. But in an effort to share some of the beauty, information, inspiration, and excitement, here is a good bit of it via the magic of “blockquote,” including some working links [but be forewarned: some of the material in the linked pages includes disturbing accounts of violence from survivors and others working to end violence against women]:
STOP RAPING OUR GREATEST RESOURCE: POWER TO THE WOMEN OF THE DRC – CAMPAIGN UPDATE
When V-Day launches our 2009 season this Fall, thousands of women and men worldwide will sign up to organize their own V-Day benefit events to raise funds and awareness to end violence against women and girls in their communities.
These events will not only bring much needed attention to local beneficiaries, but will highlight V-Day’s 2009 Spotlight Campaign: Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power To The Women and Girls of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Democratic Republic of Congo was raped for centuries by colonialism and exploitation. Today the legacy continues in a modern day conflict where hundreds of thousands of women and girls are raped, tortured and destroyed. Women are the most precious resource on the planet. Without them, there is no future in the DRC, or anywhere.
The Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power To The Women and Girls of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in partnership with UNICEF on behalf of UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, will:: raise awareness of ongoing sexual violence against women and girls in DRC and the devastating impact on their health, their spirits, their families and their communities; call for specific measures to end impunity and punish perpetrators; economically and socially empower women and girls so that they can become leaders in the rebuilding of a country devastated by conflict and build and open the City of Joy, a safe facility and community for women survivors of sexual violence where they will be provided with support to heal and training to further develop their leadership and life skills.
More details about the Campaign and how you can get involved will be released in September on www.vday.org and through V-Mail.
NEW HANDMADE CONGOLESE BAGS ARE IN!!Buy a handmade Congolese bag and show your solidarity with the women of the Democratic Republic Of Congo!
These unique bags are made by women who are participants in UNICEF-supported NGOs that are doing life-saving work on the ground. Many who survive sexual violence in DRC suffer stigma and discrimination, resulting in limited economic opportunities. The proceeds from the sale of these bags will help these women get back on their feet and support themselves and their children. Local Congolese fabric was used to make these bags. The bags also include a Stop Raping our Greatest Resource campaign button. For just $20, you can make a difference!
READ THE NEW V-MEN COLUMN BY MARCO NAGUIB, M.DOver the last few months, acclaimed writer Mark Matousek has been working with prominent men to create the “V-Men Column,” a series of stories and writings on violence against women and girls from the perspective of fathers, brother and sons. In the latest installation, FOR MAMA, New York City Physician Marco Naguib writes,
“I hadn’t been the first person to suggest that Mama leave Baba, my father and tormentor. On her wedding night, in a boarding house in Beirut, Baba beat her for the first time. The landlady urged her to pack her things and go, as Mama wiped the running kohl off her face, even offering to buy her a ticket back to Egypt. It wasn’t too late to change her mind, to annul this ill-fated marriage. Mama refused, too ashamed to return home after having eloped to Lebanon with Baba in the first place. She buried her face in the satin of her gown and remembered her mother’s solemn expression the day she left, her head covered in a thin black veil out of respect, refusing to shed a tear…”
Stay tuned for more on V-Day, globally and, more importantly for us, LOCALLY! If you’d like to get involved with the V-Day project at LPTS, please contact the Women’s Center at LPTS!