One Billion Rising to mobilise support for campaign today

Cultural Correspondent
Speakers at the press conference on Friday. — Sanaul Haque

Speakers at the press conference on Friday. — Sanaul Haque

American playwright and activist Eve Ensler and Philippine theatre and film actress Monique Wilson are now in Dhaka to mobilise support for the global feminist movement of One Billion Rising.
The duo will attend a discussion session at the Chhayanaut auditorium in the morning today. Later, they will attend a gathering at the open-air Rabindra Sarobar stage in Dhanmondi.
One Billion Rising Bangladesh, which is organising the two events, held a press conference at the National Press Club on Friday giving details about the events and the Bangladeshi chapter of the campaign.
As well as Eve Ensler and Monique Wilson, the conference was attended by Nastasia Paul-Gera, co-coordinator of South Asia-based feminist organisation Sangat, OBR Bangladesh co-coordinator Khushi Kabir, and activist Farah Kabir.
The organisers have called upon the public to participate in a flash mob at 12:00pm on February 14 to show solidarity with the movement. The gathering can be organised anywhere they are in the country, they added.
OBR was launched in 2012 by Eve Ensler, the writer of the groundbreaking play The Vagina Monologues that advocates an end to sexual violence against women. The campaign was initiated as part of the V-Day movement, the ‘billion’ referring to a UN statistic that one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, accounting for about one billion.
The Vagina Monologues, the cornerstone of the V-Day movement, is an episodic play released in 1996. Charles Isherwood of the New York Times has called the play ‘probably the most important piece of political theatre of the last decade.’
In 2011, Ensler was awarded the Isabelle Stevenson Award at the 65th Tony Awards for her work. She also received Obie Award, Berrilla-Kerr Award, and Amnesty International Media Spotlight Award for Leadership.
On the other hand, actress Monique Wilson has starred in numerous plays and has been a noted feminist activist. Her awards include Parangal Ng Bayan Award for Theatre, FAMAS Special Award, and Film Academy of the Philippines Best Supporting Actress Award.
OBR Bangladesh started its journey in 2013.

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