Valentines Day 2013 represented the 15th anniversary of V-Day, a movement to end violence against women inspired by Eve Ensler’s play the Vagina Monologues.The event was signified by Ensler’s coordinated worldwide ‘One Billion Rising’ rallies. Women and men from different countries all over the world gathered to protest in flash mobs and perform dance in city centres.
In London yesterday, celebrities and politicians joined the crowds outside the Houses of Parliament, including Ruby Wax, Thandie Newton and Yvette Cooper.
Dame Joan Ruddock, Labour MP for Lewisham Deptford, spoke to ELL reporter Delores Williams about her support for the campaign and what she wants to see happen to try and tackle the issue of violence against women.
Dame Joan said: “I’m here today because I have campaigned all my political life against violence against women, and I’m horrified that we are still in this position. Women are still suffering and even losing their lives… we need the whole of society to be educated about this.”
Of the future, Dame Joan said: “We are asking for relationship education to be made compulsory. It is utterly shocking that young girls between the ages of 13 and 17 are in relationships today, and are saying that they are frequently subjected to intimidation and even violence. So we need to talk about that in the classroom.”
Listen to the full audio here.