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The Vagina Monologues Take on Kyrgyzstan [Photoessay]

World  (tags: women's rights, human rights, asia, vagina monologues, violence, sexuality, government )

- 3716 days ago -
An internationally renowned play about women's bodies, sexuality, and sexual violence recently debuted in Bishek, Kyrgyzstan, seeking to foment dialogue and change on women's rights in Central Asia.


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. (0)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 11:40 am
noted thank you

Amena Andersson (187)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 12:12 pm
WOW! This makes me proud to be a woman. Thank you, dear actors, for your strength, committment and courage. I salute you.

Carole S (338)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 12:31 pm

Daring, and applaudable, especially coming from its originating area. (Many Western women would be shy about using the "v" word. hehehehe)

Thanks for posting this, Susty.

Simon Wood (207)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 1:22 pm
Hi Just Carole, what do you mean when you say: "Daring, and applaudable, especially coming from its originating area."?

That sounds like you are implying that the Vagina Monologues come from Kyrgyzstan. Just to be clear, it didn't come from Kyrgyzstan. It came from elsewhere, but it has now made its Kyrgyzstan debut (its global debut was elsewhere - I first heard about it in Australia or North America in 2003, but it might have started before that).

Carole S (338)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 1:28 pm

Maybe I misunderstood this:

"Central Asia is not known as a region where women have tried to assert their rights. Accordingly, the staging of The Vagina Monologues has already generated a fair amount of controversy.

Of the 22 cast members, the overwhelming majority are young women born and raised in Central Asia. "

Cheryl B (373)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 1:30 pm
started in 1996, new york I think, it's played here years ago, and also on video, I may still ahve a copy some where. great to see it is still going around the world, noted.

Cheryl B (373)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 1:32 pm
where ever it travels, different women, play/speak the same parts in different cultures, so that is another aspect of it. And daringly so, depending on the culture. It was when it came out, or the 'female closet" lol

Cheryl B (373)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 1:48 pm
here, I must have the HBO version then, somewhere, certainly would be worth watching again :)

The Vagina Monologues is an Obie Award-winning episodic play written by Eve Ensler which ran at the off-Broadway Westside Theatre after a limited run at HERE Arts Center in 1996. Ensler originally starred in the production; when she left the play it was recast with three celebrity monologists. The production has been staged internationally, and a television version featuring Ensler was produced by cable TV channel HBO. In 1998, Ensler launched V-Day, a global non profit that has raised over $50 million for women's anti-violence groups through benefits of The Vagina Monologues.[1]

Cheryl B (373)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 2:53 pm
The Vagina Monologues google videos

Aletta Kraan (146)
Tuesday April 14, 2009, 3:55 pm
Hope the women will be able to attend the performance !!!

Susty D (35)
Wednesday April 15, 2009, 7:27 am
Hey everyone,

Thanks so much for your support reading, sharing, and commenting! Its really great this story is being shared. Maybe their impact in Central Asia will have a little impact on the world as well.


Simon Wood (207)
Wednesday April 15, 2009, 9:13 am
Hi Just Carole,
anyway, I agree with you that they are brave women doing that, especially in Kyrgyzstan! : )

By the way, I daresay that the USSR spread alot of equality for women in Kyrgyzstan, because even though the USSR was an oppressive system, it was also progressive and egalitarian in some ways, e.g. it was a world leader in equality for women for many years. Apparently alot of the old sexist culture of Kyrgyzstan remains... there has been a reversion to some of the old sexist ways in the rest of the former USSR, too.

Locan Sleeping-Squirrel (209)
Wednesday April 15, 2009, 5:19 pm
Very encouraging, thanks for this.

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 16, 2009, 5:25 am
Exactly, Simon. The USSR advanced the lot of women in its Central Asian Republics by centuries - women could become doctors, lawyers, university professors, senior bureaucrats and soldiers. They were freed from the veil for the first time in centuries, enjoyed state-supported childcare institutions, full abortion rights and a large degree of economic equality with their male co-workers.

It was the "return to democracy" after 1991-2 which led to the absolute plummet in the status of women, not only the the Central Asian Republics, but in the European areas of the former USSR. You are right to point out that the islamic fundamentalism encouraged by the US in Afghanistan found acceptance among the more backward elements of Central Asian society, as declining living standards and massive unemployment contributed to a resurgence of the sexist backwardness of Russian Orthodoxy.

[For example, from 1991 to 1997, gross domestic product fell by over 80 percent; according to official (understated) statistics, capital investment dropped over 90 percent. By the middle of the decade, 40 percent of the population of the Russian Federation was living below the official poverty line and a further 36 percent only a little above it. Millions were starving. No wonder people turned to religion to escape their plight.]

Note that, despite having many bones to pick with the buraeucratic deformation that was Stalinism, I refuse to indulge in the ritualistic denunciation of the USSR as an "oppressive system" (at least not without a LOT of hammering-out of terms).

Alejandra Vega (139)
Thursday April 16, 2009, 8:41 am
TY, Susty! Good news!
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