Weekly Wrap Up: February 20, 2011

First, Some Thoughts

This afternoon, a friend and I are going to attend a V-Day event in Washington, D.C. The show, called A Memory, a Monologue, A Rant, and a Prayer, is the work of Eve Ensler and is similar to the Vagina Monologues. It is modeled after the book with the same title that is an anthology of men and women, writing about their experiences with violence against women. It’s worth a read if you haven’t had the chance.

What was interesting to me was that the “find an event” option was listed under the “get involved” tab on the V-Day website. I hadn’t thought about it quite so clearly before, but attending a show like this is a great way to get involved; we hear stories, we spread the word, we support a local cause, and we just might walk out the door with a changed perspective from the one we wore as we walked in. There is perhaps nothing more important than that to alter the social fabric.

V-Day is an incredible organization to follow and it puts on conscious-calling shows all over the country. To find an event near you, click here.

Rape in the Military

A landmark lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, for failing to address an epidemic of rape plaguing the armed forces. The plaintiffs claim that the military repeatedly failed to take action in rape cases, allowing a culture of sexual violence to continue. This problem is not new but is apparently escalating according to a 2009 report which indicated an 11 percent increase in sexual assault of women while serving in the military. Another statistic: that means one in three women report being sexually violated while serving their country. Read the whole story here.

On Alert: Northern Sudan

While the media’s focus regarding Sudan has been on Southern Sudan, the women in Northern Sudan are facing greater oppression at the hand of the government. Sexual violence and oppression of women in Sudan is not news; the government has used this tactic for decades to maintain control. But the North Sudanese government says that it will institute Sharia law throughout the country as soon as South Sudan is officially independent on July 9th, 2011. This could mean an increase in the oppression of women, at the least. Read the full story here.

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