May 25, 1953
Eve Ensler, best known for her play “The Vagina Monologues,” is an American playwright, performer, and activist. She champions the cause for ending violence against women, and she uses her crafts of language and acting to bring women’s issues to light.
Ensler wrote “The Vagina Monologues” (1996) after interviewing over two hundred women about issues of sexuality and the female body. The play features vignettes of different women’s experiences with sex and understanding their bodies, both in positive and negative ways, and attempts to show that it is acceptable to talk about these things openly. It also poignantly shares stories of exploitation, rape, and female victims of war time abuse.
Ensler’s experience in developing “The Vagina Monologues” prompted her to begin V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Attacking issues such as rape, incest, female genital mutilation, and sexual slavery, V-Day works to bring awareness to these issues in efforts to bring all violence against women to an end. The V-Day organization, through countless charitable events and fund raisers, as well as yearly contributions from benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues, has raised over $70 million and educated millions about the issues facing women in the world today.
Ensler continues to write plays addressing modern female topics. She has written and performed “The Good Body” (focusing on the myth that women need to change their bodies to be accepted) and “Insecure At Last” (focusing on the lengths to which we attempt to feel safe and how these efforts can imprison us.)
Ensler not only writes to bring awareness to her cause, but also personally travels, advocates, and protests to help the message spread. She has traveled to Afghanistan to organize many programs for Afghani women and held the “Afghani Women’s Summit For Democracy”. She also facilitates a writing program for women at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women.
Ensler has created global awareness and raised money and support for ending violence against women. Her vision is that of a world “where women thrive, not merely survive.”