American playwright, performer, feminist and activist Eve Ensler, best known for her play The Vagina Monologues, is visiting Taiwan for the first time to push for an end to violence against women.

While in Taiwan, Ensler will be speaking about her experiences mobilizing millions of people to participate in her One Billion Rising global protest campaign, which aims to end violence and promote justice and gender equality for women.

She will also take the stage with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je on Monday at rally to call for the public to stand up against the abuse, harassment and violence that women face across the globe.

A survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault, Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues in 1996.

The play has since been translated into 48 languages and performed in more than 140 countries by celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Idina Menzel, Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, Cyndi Lauper, Sandra Oh and Oprah Winfrey.

“You know what’s really shocking to me? I can close my eyes in any country, in any city, and people laugh at the same places and they cry at the same places,” Ensler says.

She says the play’s global appeal has taught her that we live in a world filled with solidarity, with very similar issues, struggles and pains.

“That’s not to say each country doesn’t have its own culture, traditions and problems, but patriarchy is a kind of global disease that seems to have reached across the entire planet and impacted women in very similar ways,” Ensler says.

As a result of her experiences writing and performing The Vagina Monologues, Ensler founded V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, Ensler said her greatest disappointment has been the dearth of men participating in the movement.

I spoke briefly with Ensler about what both women and men can do to encourage greater male participation in the movement. Our short conversation is below: