Last night I had the privilege and joy of being part of the cast of The Vagina Monologues here in Arusha as part of the incredible worldwide V-Day movement.
Eve Ensler’s play is both funny and thought-provoking. From the hilarious moments within “The Flood”, “The Vagina Workshop”, and “Because He Liked To Look At It”, to the empowering “My Short Skirt”, “The Woman Who Liked To Look At It” and “My Revolution Begins in My Body” – it takes the audience on a journey.
As a group performing this amazing show, I felt truly blessed by some of the special moments we shared throughout the preparation and on the night. We laughed together, cried together, cheered each other on, and embraced each other. It truly felt like a sisterhood and I count each one of them as a friend.
One of the most special moments of the night came through speaking to our beneficiaries, The Network Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAFGEM). Representatives from the organisation came to see the production and also to talk to the audience about their work.
The regions of Arusha, Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Mara and Manyara currently have an FGM prevalence rate of between 20 – 70%. Support for FGM by women in these areas is now below 20%, with support for the practice decreasing even more with increasing education and socio-economic status.
We got to meet the fantastic men and women who work for NAFGEM and hear about the work they do to fight against FGM in the Northern Tanzania regions.
We also met two incredible, strong young women who had undergone such practices and had escaped from their communities to the safety of NAFGEM. They are the epitome of fierce, strong, empowered young women who are fighting against the dangerous and life-altering practice that is so prevalent within their communities.
It was an honour to stand with my fellow “V-Day Ladies” next to these young women and to know that we could contribute towards making their future and the future of many other young women safer, more empowered and so much brighter.