The Zonta Club of Cebu 1 recognized the 16 Days of Activism and Zonta’s dedication to ending child marriage with a series of awareness programs.
On 8 November, Zontians held a commemoration event recognizing Zonta’s Centennial, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Zonta Club of Cebu I. This event included an “opening salvo” held at the Ayala Mall to an audience of about 1,000 people, including community leaders.
Also on 8 November, a research-interactive forum discussed the roots of child marriage.
A play was also presented that focused on how early pregnancy can lead to child marriage. This was attended by about 500 people.
On 29 November, about 200 Zontians and guests celebrated its golden year, featuring the Hall of Fame of Past Presidents from 1981 to 2018 and their projects that empowered women to spearhead prevention of violence against women. There were also poster exhibits focused on ending child marriage.
The largest assemblage was of 5,000 students, teachers and Zontians on 10 December at the University of San Jose Recoletos Coliseum. This was during the event “Shout Out NO to Child Marriage.” The event was covered by a regional tv network, as well as print media.
Members of the club say this series of integrated programs on child marriage had an impact on the community, which resulted in the formation of a new Z Club, comics serials, oratorical contests and an international forum on women’s transformative leadership.
The Zonta Club of Kennemerland-Zuid Area, District 29, took part in the 16 Days of Activism by using orange lights to light up a local tower.
The tower of the St. Bavo Church in Haarlem, Netherlands was illuminated with a spectacular orange-colored floodlight.
Club members said they hoped the color would stand out and be recognized as a color meant to warn. Everyone recognizes it as the color of traffic signals which are meant to warn us.
Mayor Jos Wienen kindly connected two orange cables, setting the tower ablaze. Wienen said he was pleased to be present at the opening ceremony, saying: “We do not always realize what is taking place outside the public view, in private relationships. Every year at least 25 women in the Netherlands die as a result of domestic violence. From November 25 until December 10, also Haarlem will pay attention to these problems.”
One may wonder why orange was chosen as the color for this campaign for a hopeful future without violence against women and girls. Club members say the answer is that in orange the colors red, the physical, and yellow, the emotional, are joined.
The tower of the St. Bavo Church remained lit in orange light until 10 December.
Members of the Zonta Club of Mangawhai, District 16, acknowledged the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence with three main activities.
Members knit-bombed a large tree at their local library and arts center complex, painted men’s, women’s and children’s shoes orange and hung them along a fence with two wooden orange dolls and a sign, and held an orange themed Quiz Night.
During the 16 Days, a visiting English tourist was murdered in New Zealand. A vigil was held to remember Grace Millane throughout New Zealand and several Zontians took part in the local walk, holding candles and wearing their orange shirts.
The Zonta Club of Hong Kong East, District 17, partnered with two local groups to organize a traveling exhibit called “Say NO to Child Marriage” to educate shoppers and promote public awareness on the topic of child marriage.
The various posters provided information on violence against women and child marriage, emphasizing Zonta’s focus on ending child marriage and saying NO to child marriage.
The exhibit was displayed over 6 weekends, from 9 December 2018 to 13 January 2019, in various shopping malls.
Plan International served as the exhibit sponsor and LINK was the venue sponsor.
Watch a video about the event here.
The Zonta Club of Liestal, District 28, displayed information on the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign at a local theater during the 16 Days of Activism.
The goal of the display was to inform moviegoers before they went into their movie.
An information box was placed in the foyer with brochures that included details on the intervention place and important points of contact for women looking for support.
The Zonta Club of Central Oklahoma, District 10, arranged to light the Oklahoma City Skydance Bridge orange in their Zonta Says NO campaign to turn their city orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Club members gathered on 29 November at the bridge, where they were joined by community partners from Palomar, Pivot, and the Oklahoma Coalition.
Members watched the bridge turn orange against the backdrop of the Oklahoma City skyline to make their statement that Zonta says NO to violence against women.
As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Zonta Club of Pocatello, District 8, collected and distributed feminine hygiene and personal care items to distribute to 16 local places for underserved women and girls to have free access to the products.
Members delivered products to one stop a day for 16 days. Each location received at least one box of supplies and some even received two boxes.
Club members collaborated with three businesses to have drop-off locations so non-members could donate and participate as well.
Club members selected 16 places around their community that they felt offered the most access for women and girls in to gain free access to the items. The stops included seven junior and senior high schools, three battered women or homeless shelters, a pantry on the campus of Idaho State University and several other locations that offer services or assistance to a wide variety of community members.
Members who dropped off the donations took selfies and posted them on social media at each stop to help spread the message to end violence against women. They also used the hashtags #womendoing and #tamponladies to help attract attention to their cause.
For many girls, child marriage can seem like the only option. Watch what happens when we give girls choices.
By the end of this year, the Ending Child Marriage Project has the potential to reach 2.5 million girls in 12 countries.
As we begin 2019, reinvigorate your dedication to ending child marriage by joining Zonta International in saying NO to the violating practice.
Zonta Club of de Baronie Breda, District 29, shared the very important message of saying NO to violence against women with the public by handing out yellow roses in their city center on 25 November.
The Mayor of Breda lit the tower of the Grand Church orange. Watch a video of the tower lighting up orange here.
During the 16 Days of Activism, Zonta International, as well as many clubs, focused on ending child marriage. For one club in Dhaka, this focus aligned with a current project from which they have seen success for two local girls.
Through a club-wide service project, members of the Zonta Club of Dhaka II, District 25, have supported two girls in changing their lives after avoiding the pressures of child marriage.
Mohsina Akhtar and Shoma Islam are two young women from remote villages of Bangladesh and both participate in Shathi Samaj, an education project by the Zonta Club of Dhaka II.
While studying, Mohsina Akhtar was forced to get married and her in-laws did not let her continue with her studies. Mohsina underwent both mental and physical abuse during this time. Mohsina reached out to the Zonta club for counseling and advice. With the support of the club members, she was able to leave her marriage and go back to her studies. She is now a student at the University of Dhaka, studying finance. She hopes to become a chartered accountant.
When she was young, Shoma Islam was under pressure to discontinue her studies to get married. However, with the help of the members of the club, Shoma is now a 4th-year student of home economics at the University of Dhaka and is doing very well. She is also currently working with a renowned NGO in Dhaka and is also continuing her studies in food and nutrition. She has a dream of becoming a nutritionist.
Members of the Zonta Club of Dhaka II plan to be by their sides until they fulfill their dreams.