8 March 2016:
A performance of The Vagina Monologues, an episodic play written by Eve Ensler was organized by Hamri Bahini on 5th, 6th and 8th of March 2016. The program introduced the international movement to end violence against women and girls creates a space for women to talk about things that are difficult to talk about in our communities like periods, sex, sexuality, gender identity, violence against women. The experience empowers women from diverse fields to talk openly and freely about these issues and advocate for other women to be able to do the same. 100% of the funds raised went towards Hamri Bahini for programs like access to legal aid and treatments after health camp to the didi-bahinis.
The production this year consisted of 24 women from different walks of life. Every week the participants gathered to talk about feminism, gender, sex, sexuality, bodies and orgasms. They shared their own stories and experiences and in turn learned about their own bodies and selves with the help of other people’s anecdotes. In the month allotted for rehearsals, the women got the opportunity to put themselves in their character’s shoes and got to learn about all the problems that women around the world face. Prachita Uprety, who was a first time performer, said that her experience in the show triggered her growth into adulthood. The participants all agreed that what made the journey so amazing was the opportunity to get to know so many women who had the same beliefs as them.
It wasn’t only the performers however who enjoyed The Vagina Monologues. The audience seemed to love it just as much. One audience member, Anisha Bashyal, claimed the show was “eye opening” for her. Another member, Aastha Shrestha said that she learned about self acceptance with the help of the show.
The Vagina Monologues was mentored and directed by Bivishika Bhandari, Program Lead of Hamri Bahini.