Worried by the numbers of acts of violence against women, members of the Zonta Club of Brussel Zavel, Belgium, extended their actions in the framework of the club’s Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign. The club initiated a poster campaign, intensified lobbying for Orange your City and connected with key players, such as UN Women and the Brussels City Council.
Régine Claeys, club president, spread the message fervently, stating, “The time is now, break the silence! Remaining silent merely encourages violence. We must inform victims and guarantee that help and support is available.”
Zonta Says NO posters were distributed among all members and offered to many local businesses in and around Brussels.
Members’ lobbying efforts also paid off. The Belgian Institute for Equal Opportunities and UN Women contributed data and information for their press release.
“Violence against women has reached troubling heights against which we need to mobilize in a joint effort,” Brussels Mayor Philippe said in a statement. “It has been a bitter pill to swallow, hearing so many testimonies from women who have been confronted with violence. However, as these horrific acts of violence are ever more openly discussed, we are moving in the right direction, even though there is still a long way to go.”
To launch the campaign on 25 November, International Day of Eliminating Violence Against Women, Lydia Mutyebele Ngoi, Alderwoman of Housing, Public Patrimony and Equal Opportunities, invited the club’s members to the City Hall in Brussels. She praised their efforts in drawing attention to the issue of violence against women and encouraged them to continue their work.
Her warm welcome and genuine interest helped them realize that it is essential to get out of our comfort zones, to meet with others who inspire us, and to take concrete action. This is how we can create added value to our society.
After the launch, members embarked on a tour around the city, admiring the many buildings that joined their efforts to orange the city: City Hall, Grand Place, Opera De Munt, P&V tower, ING headquarters, Belfius tower, Koninginnengalerij, Berlaymont, House of Europe, Central Station, and the walking bridge across Rue Belliard.