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Ex-legislator to join Vagina Monologues performance in Taipei

2012/04/26 21:04:20

Taipei, April 26 (CNA) Former legislator Huang Sue-ying will be among the 10 women to perform in the Vagina Monologues presentation in Taipei this year to raise awareness of the global efforts to stop violence against women.

The play, to be staged Thursday and Friday, is part of a series of activities organized by local women's rights groups to celebrate the global V-Day movement to end violence against women.

The movement, initiated in 1998 by American playwright Eve Ensler, raises funds from performances of her play to help female victims of sexual abuse and other forms of violence.

The Vagina Monologues relate stories about sex, love, rape and other issues affecting women.

It is the sixth year that Taiwan has joined the V-Day movement, said Lee Li-feng, secretary-general End Children Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) Taiwan.

This year, 10 percent of the funds will go toward female victims of sexual violence in Haiti, and the rest will be used to support victims in Taiwan, said Lee, whose group is one of the organizers and beneficiaries of the fundraiser.

Huang, a former legislator and founding chairwoman of Taiwan Women's Link, said it is her first time acting in a play and it is a great challenge.

"Violence against women is a continuous problem and I hope my performance can help bring greater attention to these issues," said Huang, whose group is also one of the organizers and beneficiaries of the event. Huang plays a woman angry at society's expectations and treatment of the female sex organs.

She said she has been practicing very hard over the past month, but her biggest fear is forgetting her lines.

"It has been a very big challenge for me because even though I was fierce in the Legislative Yuan, I get stage fright whenever I perform," said the 61-year-old ex-legislator.

Huang said she has invited her mother, who is in her 90s, as well as her former colleagues in the Legislature to attend the performances.

Huang also called on the public not to shy away from using words like "vagina."

"People seem embarrassed to talk about these terms, which are actually normal terms," she said. "I hope that people won't avoid using these ordinary terms because they don't have a negative meaning."

On the question of whether her latest venture was more difficult than interrogating an official in the Legislature, Huang said "it is more difficult to perform in a play."

"There are no interactions during a monologue. You have to remember the monologue from the beginning to the end," said Huang, adding that lawmakers can always look at their notes when they are speaking.

The play will be staged at the Armed Forces Cultural Center.

(By Christie Chen)