Photo Credit: Brigitte Lacombe via V-Day press photos

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and while many love to abhor the Hallmark Holiday to end all Hallmark Holidays, February 14th also marks the anniversary of a groundbreaking play called The Vagina Monologues.

The Vagina Monologues is a collection of monologues written by playwright Eve Ensler, and inspired by the stories of real women. Organized as an episodic play, The Vagina Monologues was first performed in 1996 in NYC, and has since evolved into a massive movement to raise awareness about global violence against women. Ensler’s artistic approach to addressing women’s issues inspired countless women to come forward to share their stories; the play remains a work of art, but also acts as a catalyst for global activism. For this week’s #ThrowbackThursday, we’re taking a look back at our full profile of activist, author, and playwright Eve Ensler, the woman behind The Vagina Monologues. Click to learn more about the global work she has done, both in activism and the arts, to end violence against women.

vdayutvs_webAccording to V-Day, the organization that emerged after the success of The Vagina Monologues, efforts made by Ensler and a growing number of activists have helped reach “billions of people through performances, word of mouth, media, internet, and the dedication of people around the world.” The Vagina Monologues has been performed thousands of times since 1996, and now serves as a benefit show that simultaneously raises awareness about women’s issues, and raises vital funds to affect real change. According to the United Nations, “one of every three women it the world will personally experience physical or sexual violence.” Ensler hopes to change this, as do the participants of The Vagina Monologues, and other V-Day campaigns.

Dozens of colleges, women’s organizations, and theater groups across the country are presenting The Vagina Monologues this month, to coincide with the original V-Day performance. The Cupcake Theater in Los Angeles will be putting on their rendition of the play on February 16th, as will the Pittsburg W.H.I.P.S. (Women Helping Investigate Pittsburg Sexuality). Simmons College in Boston will be presenting The Vagina Monologues, and so will the New York University School of Law. All proceeds will go towards V-Day’s initiatives to end violence against women. Find an event near you by visiting the V-Spot event tracker.

Happy V-Day!