On V-Day (February 10, 2001) 18,000 people gathered at New York City's Madison Square Garden to protest violence against women and to celebrate the vagina. The yearly event, launched in 1998, features performances of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. While on tour, Ensler had heard hundreds of abuse stories and decided that something needed to be done: V-Day was born. The gala netted $2.3 million for antiviolence groups. In the evening, stars such as Queen Latifah and Jane Fonda performed. Earlier, activists were honored, including the semifinalists of the Stop-Rape Contest. Fifty-five out of 60 semifinalists from 46 countries presented their ideas for stopping rape. That night, three winners were awarded grants to implement their plans. Here are the winning entries:
Jennifer Jadwero, age 13, Kenya Promote Youth Against Rape clubs Clubs can be started in primary and secondary schools, universities, computer, secretarial, and technical colleges, and other educational institutions. Youth Against Rape clubs will be able to reach everybody with their message of STOP RAPE! In the primary schools, the boy students can be taught that to be a macho man you don't have to be a bully and use force to get what you want and be disrespectful to women; that all people are equal and that the boys must have respect for girls because they are their sisters, mothers, and their sweethearts. The girls can be taught self-defense and what to do in case they are raped. These ideas can be continued in secondary schools and in universities and colleges on a more serious and deeper level. Youth Against Rape clubs will work with other school clubs, like the drama and debating clubs; organize public campaigns to raise awareness of rape; show films and videos on the topic of rape; and invite professionals to address students on topics concerning rape, teach self-defense tactics, and offer counseling services and advice to victims.
Silke Pillinger, age 28, and Karin Heisecke, age 28, Germany Print anti-rape slogans and information on bread and pastry wrappings This is an awareness-raising campaign that may appear ordinary and trivial, for it uses an everyday object that everyone buys regularly, with the goal of making the sensitive, even taboo subject of rape visible in the daily lives of women and men. There is a parallel between the "ordinariness" of the object we use and violence against women, specifically rape. We want to emphasize that most rapes occur in a familiar context. We are talking about the small paper bags in which bread, rolls, cakes, and pastries are sold in every bakery, and on which we will print surprising and provocative phrases concerning rape. The slogan of our campaign is based on a play on words in German that we might translate as "Rape—it's out of the question." On these bags, we could print slogans such as:
One German woman in two suffers from headaches, one in three has problems backing into a parking space/varnishes her fingernails/wears makeup, and one in five is raped by her partner; o 5% of rapes take place in parks, 95% at home;
In Nuremberg, X (exact number) rolls are sold and X (exact number) women are raped each day; or
The customer in front of you is raped regularly by a close relative.
Régine Bandler, age 49, and Ana Bosch, age 48, Brazil Use speeches on sexism and sexual violence to change public opinion in the community through theatrical workshops and other forums
The speeches and other texts chosen will be used to make videos, TV clips, and advertisements to contribute to efforts to change the culture of violence against women. One example is: The weapon is art/art is to hear/art is to debate and to beat up. The municipality of Camaragibe in northeast Brazil is planning to offer special services for women in violent situations, in partnership with [our] feminist theater group Lunatics of Pe
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. The court's decision denied their request to temporarily block the legislation pending a final ruling on its constitutionality, rubber stamping the efforts of Oklahoma politicians to force doctors to use an outdated protocol for administering a medication abortion using the drug mifepristone - one that the medical community and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have rejected in favor of a new standard of care that calls for a significantly lower dosage. . . .
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .