V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls, was celebrated the week of February 11-15. This year, V-Week featured numerous educational sessions and workshops for the NEOMED community to increase awareness of efforts to stop violence against women and girls and raise funds for violence prevention.
This year, 14 College of Medicine students joined together to produce NEOMED’s production of The Vagina Monologues, which was open to the public.
Prabhsimran Batra, a second-year College of Medicine student, shares why the production is important to her:
“The NEOMED American Medical Women’s Association chapter is very pleased with the support V-Week received, and we’d like to thank everyone who supported us! Our production of The Vagina Monologues raised over $300. A large portion of the money will be donated to Townhall II, a local shelter that provides a range of services such as drug education, emergency assistance in crisis situations, medical diagnosis and treatment, counseling and outpatient programs, and a shelter for women who are facing substance abuse, addiction, sexual crimes, or relational abuse. Another portion of the proceeds will be donated to the V-DAY national spotlight campaign in collaboration with 1BillionRising, and these funds will benefit incarcerated women and girls.
“The show, if I can say so as the director, was a success. The student actresses did a stunning job in sharing the hardships and humor of female experiences, and I think our audience was able to appreciate and enjoy something that connects all of us so deeply. Feminism is for everyone, and the sense of community that I felt during and after our show really makes me confident that AMWA and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion were able to share those experiences well.
“Hosting events like this remains important almost 20 years after Eve Ensler’s debut of The Vagina Monologues, because the experiences in this show are timeless for women. While some of them are positive and will hopefully always be, too much of the discrimination and violence against women persists today that is described in the show. One piece in particular, “My Short Skirt,” was very popular in our casting process because it is still bitterly familiar for many women today: discrimination and violence based on what a woman is wearing or saying — or not saying out of fear. Events like this are important because they take that fear that women have, draw attention to it, and then empower women to overcome it, and empower all of us to refuse to accept discrimination and violence.
“More importantly, pieces like “My Short Skirt” and the rest of The Vagina Monologues also remind all of us to celebrate women —for their shared experiences and their individuality, for their strength and their compassion, for the experiences that go so far beyond the physical aspects of womanhood, and for the community we create by acting in these movements.”
NEOMED’s production of The Vagina Monologues was sponsored by the American Medical Women’s Association; the NEOMED Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Obstetrics and Gynecology Interest Group; Scientista; Q Club; Musicians in Medicine; the Center for Student Wellness and Counseling Services; and Physicians for Human Rights.