The Zonta Says NO Campaign for the Zonta clubs of Bombay I and Bombay III, District 25, commenced on 4 December with members of both the clubs saying no to violence against women and child marriage.
The students of Lady Engineer School, both girls and boys in ninth and tenth grade classes participated in the program. Club members showed a video of Kirti Bharti of Saarthi Trust, who is a warrior against child marriage and interviews of girls rescued from child marriage and now leading a better life. These depicted the ill effects of child marriage and created social awareness.
Next, slides were projected with various captions saying no to violence and child marriage and advocating for the protection and safety of women.
The students were asked to share their views and it was nice to see the boys equally and enthusiastically participating along with the girls.
Two dances were performed by the students. One depicted violence against women, particularly rape and how to fight it and the second focused on women’s empowerment.
A pledge was taken by the students, teachers and Zonta members to stop violence and child marriage whenever and wherever witnessed or heard. The session ended with the dance participants receiving certificates of appreciation.
On 9 December, both the Zonta Club of Bombay I and Zonta Club of Bombay III, District 25, joined with the NGO Save the Children India to host a talk and workshop .
The workshop was conducted by the Counselor Ms. Reshma and her team and it focused on sexual harassment at home and outside the home, as well as legal and social recourse to combat the issue. A few Bolllywood songs were shown to the girls and questions were asked and they were made to understand the reality of violence against women and girls. The presidents of the clubs shared the importance of changing their point of views or understanding of the situation in the community.
The participants of the event were girls under 18 from four community centers and shelter homes in Mumbai. It was a very interesting and interactive session with active participation from all, including the Zonta members.
On 10 December there was session focused on sex and gender and for the finale, both clubs sponsored gifts which were distributed to about 130 girls from their shelter homes and community centers.
During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the Zonta Club of Pontiac-North Oakland, USA, District 15, had a display at the Oakland County Courthouse.
The display included silhouettes of women, which represented the 17 Oakland County residents who died from domestic violence last year.
There were also 42 paper dolls, each representing 100 assaults, for a total of more than 4,200 reported assaults last year.
“This is nothing to be proud of. Domestic Violence is not about love; it is all about power,” Gail Johnson, Zonta Club of Pontiac-North Oakland president, told The Oakland Press.
As part of Zonta International’s 100 years of empowering women, the Zonta Club of Trenton/Mercer, USA, District 3, purchased an ad to be displayed on a shuttle bus that services Trenton, New Jersey, and surrounding towns.
The club wanted to help empower women and children by providing a hotline number for victims of violence while also providing information for those who want to join Zonta in the fight to end violence against women and children. The ad will run for four weeks.
The Zonta Club of Canberra Breakfast Inc in Australia, District 24, held a somber service this week to memorialize the 52 women and eight men who died from intimate partner violence.
A garland of orange flowers shaped the word NO, the color a reminder of the fifth UN sustainable development goal of equality. December 10 also marks the conclusion of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, under the theme, “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!”
Continue reading about the impactful event.
The Zonta Club of London, U.K., District 29, turned the city’s Marble Arch orange in commemoration of Human Rights Day, 10 December.
Dianne Jeans, the club’s president, said: “Violence against women and girls around the world is one of the most devastating human rights violations in our world today.
“It affects women regardless of background or education and often takes place behind closed doors. It can come in many forms, including physical, sexual, or psychological violence, as well as economic abuse and exploitation.”
Continue reading about the club’s efforts to advocate for ending violence against women and girls.
In Ghana, 21% of girls are married before their 18th birthday.
The Zonta Club of Tema, District 18, partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for a billboard to bring awareness to child marriage during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Naana Aboagye Asare, the club’s president, said drastic measures must be taken by stakeholders to fight against child marriage, which is destroying girls’ potentials.
“Statistics on child marriage in Ghana [were] alarming and needed to be [nipped] in the bud,” Asare said.
UNFPA Ghana Gender Programmes Analyst, Selina Owusu, who led in the unveiling of the billboard, said child marriage was a serious national issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
She called on all stakeholders and Ghanaians to join in the fight against child marriage and gender-based violence in the country.
Continue reading about the initiative here.
The Zonta Club of Olympia, USA, District 8, spread awareness of child marriage throughout the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Club members received a sheet with all 16 days worth of talking points so they could share in their everyday life, and the club posted each day on their Facebook page. Their posts received likes and shares from around the world, with 50% more traffic and interaction than usual.
In addition to receiving positive media attention, the club noticed an interest in learning more about Zonta and in building an advocacy focus with their local legislature to end child marriage.
The Zonta Club of Pampanga in the Philippines, District 17—in partnership with Angeles City and SM City Clark—convened to for their Zonta Says NO to Violence against women and children activity.
The women’s desk from the local government units, private companies’ corporate social responsibility department heads, different foundations, non-governmental organizations and students were gathered and raised the flags to join Zonta in their quest to eliminate violence.
The club also recognized three Centennial Champion Awardees and three Centennial Community Awardees for their exemplary contribution to 2019 projects of Zonta.
The highlight of the event is the dance interpretation of “Break the Silence, No to Violence” performed by four groups from different schools in Pampanga. The performances had intense messages on the issue of violence against women. Also included in the show is the Aeta children’s dance interpretation on the issue of child marriage that is commonly practiced in their community.
The Zonta e-Club of West Africa, District 18, unveiled a new advocacy project during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The project, “Orange the World: Men Against Rape” calls on men to take a stand against attitudes that normalize rape culture, child marriage and all forms of violence against women and girls.
Throughout the 16 Days, the club is posting graphics featuring photos and quotes from men supporting their initiative on their Instagram and Facebook accounts.
The Zonta e-Club of West Africa is asking men to fill out a form to show their support.
The form, in part, reads: “There is overwhelming evidence that the majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by men against women. However, not all men are perpetrators! In fact, some men are victims and the majority of men have never raped or sexually assaulted anyone. For decades, men have been left out of actions geared toward the elimination of rape and other forms of violence against women but, at Zonta e-Club of West Africa, we are looking to change this by giving men an opportunity to speak up as advocates for women’s rights. To this end, we invite you to add your voice to our 16 Days of Activism Campaign. Show the world that you stand against gender-based violence!”
The club is partnering with Thrive Care and MDM Entertainment for the project.