Zonta Club of Kowloon announces findings and recommendations from survey on Hong Kong women’s experience of violence in 2021

The Zonta Club of Kowloon, Hong Kong, has always supported the Zonta Says NO campaign since it launched in 2012. After realizing that there was a scarcity of statistics on sexual and domestic violence in Hong Kong, the club decided to sponsor the “Hong Kong Women’s Experience of Violence 2021” research. 

The Women’s Coalition on Equal Opportunities organized the research, and the lead researcher is Annie Chan from Lingnan University. Annie arranged the survey, which comprised of 1044 questionnaires that sexual and domestic violence survivors completed and 30 in-depth interviews. 

The club held a virtual press conference on Rose Day to announce the findings and recommendations to the Hong Kong media. Their advice to combat sexual and domestic violence in Hong Kong were:

  • The Hong Kong government should offer financial and housing support for women survivors and establish sexual violence crisis support centers.
  • The Hong Kong government needs to improve flexibility in service provision and increase funding to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) serving women survivors.
  • The Hong Kong government should review procedural guidelines for handling sexual violence cases, intimate partner violence cases and child abuse.
  • The Hong Kong police should review the existing classification for domestic violence because cases are being under-reported, and the current numbers do not reflect the actual prevalence.
  • The Equal Opportunities Commission should establish mandatory sexual harassment policies for companies and implement staff training.
  • There is a need to improve policy, legal and professional training provisions. This would include modernizing family court, increasing training for personnel who work with women and speeding up reforms on sex crime legislation.
  • There is a need to educate the public about sexual and intimate partner violence and equip women with information on women’s rights and relevant laws to protect them.
  • There is a need to address sexual violence in public transportation and schools.

Many local media took interest, and their press conference was covered by 17 newspapers, radio and TV stations. 

The club hopes that their recommendations will be helpful for the local government and other relevant bodies to incorporate into their planning and servicing models for the coming years.

Zonta Club of Bad Nauheim-Friedberg holds workshop to empower girls against online violence

The Zonta Club of Bad Nauheim-Friedberg, Germany, organized a workshop to empower girls against online violence. This was the first time the club started this cooperation project. They were responsible for finding cooperation partners financing the project, organization, media work and the advertisement before the workshop.

The club was impressed that more than 40 young women and girls all over Germany took part. They also noticed how many people were interested in the topic and how many girls were affected.

The club believes that it is essential to address and communicate with young women at their level, which led to the workshop’s great success. They are considering holding the workshop again.

Z and Golden Z Club of Saint Michael’s College of Laguna hosts webinar about Safe Spaces

The Z and Golden Z Clubs of Saint Michael’s College of Laguna, the Philippines, recently hosted a webinar called Safe Spaces: It Begins with You. The clubs invited attorney Terese Ray Anne O. Aquino as a guest speaker to educate their audience about the Safe Spaces Act. This law penalizes all forms of gender-based sexual harassment committed in public spaces, educational or training institutions, workplaces and online.

The clubs streamlined the webinar to more than 3,000 audience members and registered 5,000 engagements.

Zonta Clubs in Bulgaria say NO to cyber violence against women and children

As an extension of the Zonta Says No campaign, the Zonta clubs in Bulgaria say NO to cyber violence against women and children. With people using the Internet now more than ever, the clubs wanted to highlight the hidden potential risks and prevent and combat cyberbullying.

Under the patronage of Iliana Yotova, the Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria, the clubs collaborate with experts from the General Directorate Combating Organized Crime’s specialized unit. They are also joined by a number of international NGOs such as UNICEF and Soroptimist International, and other national and regional organizations that support the cause.

So far, a broad public awareness campaign has been released, including several volunteer educational training sessions carried out by experts. The clubs will conduct debates and meetings across multiple Bulgarian cities in the upcoming months. 

On 15 April, the clubs plan to hold a closing conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, where the campaign’s activities and outcomes will be summarized and reported.

To learn more about the project and keep track of its activities, visit https://www.zontabulgaria.com/en/cyberviolence, or check out the project campaign video: https://vimeo.com/677231652.

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita takes one word at a time to promote the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

Taking inspiration from the Zonta Says NO tool guide released in 2021, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, USA, created a social media schedule for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

Each day of the 16 Days centers around an inspirational word, and some days had different words intertwined throughout the day. Check out the club’s word-savvy social media plan below.

Day 1: Envision
For the first day, the club chose the word “envision” to “envisioning a world without violence against women.”

Day 2: Knowledge
The club wanted to share facts about gender-based violence around the world, including what happens in their town and state. They also shared why 25 November is an important date and why there are 16 days to the 16 Days of Activism.

Day 3: Community
The club shared the story behind the book “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez. The book is about the Mirabel sisters, which inspired the 16 Days of Activism.

Day 4: Orange
The club wore their orange shirts everywhere they went, and they had a photo shoot in front of one of the city’s library sculptures. The sculptures consisted of squares with words like Scrabble pieces, and the middle “I” is missing. They place their Zonta Says NO vertical banner in that empty spot.

Day 5: Service
The club’s Service Committee baked cookies and donated gift cards to Fostering Youth Independence, a local non-profit organization that assists foster children after they age out of the system.

Day 6: Allyship
For “Allyship,” the club shared photos of men that support their mission and what Zonta means to them.

Day 7: Student Engagement
The club was preparing to install a new Z Club, but it got rescheduled to 24 January. This will be their second Z Club.

Day 8: Advocate
Having so many students at the high school level who feel so passionate about Zonta and its missions help the club to advocate the need to share the importance of ending violence against women and girls. Education is the key.

Day 9: Outreach
The club received a proclamation from the city of Santa Clarity Valley.

Day 10: Awareness
In addition to the proclamation, the club got the city to display their Zonta Says NO banner on a paseo above a busy street to promote awareness. The banner was displayed throughout the 16 Days.

Day 11: Tribute
The club shared stories from survivors to advocate their mission.

Day 12: Listening
The club encouraged others to listen to the stories of survivors on its YouTube channel.

Day 13: Discussion
The club co-hosted a webinar with the Zonta Club of Burbank, USA, to discuss human trafficking.

Day 14: Remembrance
The club displayed their SCV Red Dress Project at several locations during the 16 Days. The original Red Dresses inspired the project, and they launched the SCV Red Dress Project in 2016. The project aims to advocate and share awareness of domestic violence within their community.

Day 15: Giving Tuesday
The club participated in Zonta International’s Giving Tuesday webinar and shared what they were doing for the 16 Days of Activism.

Day 16: Reflection
The club concluded the 16 Days with the word “reflection.” They showed a series of photos that reflect all their activities.

Zonta Club of Cebu II and Golden Z Club of USPF organizes digital advocacy video competition

To mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Zonta Club of Cebu II, Philippines, partnered with its student club, the Golden Z Club of the University of Southern Philippines (USPF), to organize a digital advocacy video competition.

The competition is divided into four categories:

  1. Poster-making.
  2. Animation videos.
  3. Storytelling.
  4. Literary Pieces.

For each category, the clubs asked the contestants to focus on topics such as violence against women, cyberbullying, cyber pornography, teenage pregnancy and the importance of literacy.

Due to COVID-19, the student club had to be creative with their Zonta Says NO activities. With the rise of digital apps, social media and mobile browsing amongst their peers, they decided to hold a contest to develop their classmates’ creativity, digital competence, communication, understanding and leadership skills.

The student club also sought to increase student educational research and explore and engage with women and girls’ issues. 

The judging panel was composed of members of the Zonta Club of Cebu II. The club donated cash prizes for the winners.

Zonta Club of Madison’s 16 Days of Activism activities

The Zonta Club of Madison, USA, launched its 2021 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence on Facebook on 25 November. This year’s campaign focused on domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse. Not only was the campaign heavily featured on the club’s and club members’ Facebook pages, but it was marketed on District 6’s profile as well.

Throughout the 16 Days of Activism, the club also initiated several other activities.

16 Day of Activism Proclamation

The Madison Common Council presented a 16 Day Resolution recognizing 16 Days of Activism on 16 November. A press conference was held on 17 November to present a proclamation signed by local law enforcement and representatives and Club TerriJo Saarela. 

Lighting Madison in orange

The club successfully got two buildings lit orange: the Madison Municipal Building and the Dome on the Overture Center for the Arts. They also distributed orange ribbons in baskets to area businesses with information cards promoting the Umbrella Walk. 

First annual Orange Umbrella Brigade Walk

The campaign concluded on 11 December at the club’s first annual Orange Umbrella Brigade Walk at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Participants joined in to tell their vision of a future without domestic violence. Wisconsin State Assemblyperson Lisa Subeck presented a proclamation from Governor Tony Evers. 

The club’s activism and public demonstrations received coverage on the local CBS and Fox News stations during the campaign.

Zonta Club of Hervey Bay brings back Orange Ladies

During the 2021 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the Zonta Club of Hervey Bay Inc, Australia, hoped to run two separate projects. The first project was to repeat their efficacious Orange Ladies in the Workplace Project, and the second was an inaugural Business Briefing Boho Breakfast. However, due to various circumstances and time constraints, the club focused on the tried, tested and proven Orange Ladies in the Workplace Project for 2021 and planned to launch the Boho Breakfast in 2022.

The club decided that increasing their social media presence would be more beneficial to bring the Orange Ladies further into the public limelight. To achieve that goal, the club deemed it was necessary to ensure that the first sourced and secured as many business hosts as they had Orange Ladies. They incentivized local businesses by approaching a patron of previous functions, Go Rail Retail, who kindly provided 10% vouchers for each participating business as thank-you-raffle prizes.

With Go Rail Retail’s support, the club managed to position all 16 full-sized and an extra two desktop-sized Orange Ladies. In fact, they ended up having to wait-list a few businesses should any participant pull out. Thus, the club successfully secured and increased their future coverage of workplaces for their Orange Ladies. The workplaces that featured the Orange Ladies ranged from police stations, medical centers, vet and pet care, personal care and much more, with all the Orange Ladies front and centered. Employees were briefed on the reason behind the Orange Ladies, and business owners and managers also provided employees’ names for the raffle prizes.

The 2021 Orange Ladies in the Workplace Project plan focuses on participation to the general public by running a social media campaign. The club encouraged and rewarded the public to take a photo with an Orange Lady, post it on social media and tag the club and other like-minded accounts.

The club increased its reach in Hervey Bay and internationally as well.

Zonta Club of Saffle-Amal brings awareness to gender-based violence with public displays

The Zonta Club of Saffle-Amal, Sweden, originally planned to put up five Zonta flags in Säffle square and five flags outside the public library in Åmål to raise awareness to the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign. Unfortunately, the club did not receive the flags in time due to delivery delays, and they plan to revisit the idea for next year’s campaign. However, the club was able to find other visible ways to raise awareness on the issue.

After noticing the many empty display windows in their area, the club decided to stage multiple window displays showing what happens to female abuse victims. The exhibits were put up throughout the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Base Violence, and a Swish number was available for those who wished to donate to the campaign. The window displays gained so much attention that the local papers Säffle Tidningen and Provinstideningen Dalsland wrote a feature on the campaign and the club’s letter to the editor explaining Zonta Says NO.

Club members also spoke out about Zonta and brought awareness to gender-based violence in Säffle and Åmål while wearing Zonta vests, in which they received 2,720 Swedish Krona.

Due to the number of people wanting to know how many assaults are reported in Saffle and Amal, the club also added a window display featuring orange shoes that symbolized the number of assaults reported in the cities for the fourth year in a row. A Zonta Says NO exhibition was also held at the Saffle library to spread information about violence against women.

Throughout the campaign, the club used social media to spread knowledge, developed new relations, and in Åmål, they cooperated with a woman who works with female victims of abuse.

For next year’s campaign, the club plans to cooperate with Kvinnojouren Frida – Säffle-Åmål, a local women’s shelter, to create a more thorough event that focuses on solutions to gender-based violence issues.

Zonta Club of Dhaka IV speaks out on cybercrimes and violence against women

On 9 December, the Zonta Club of Dhaka IV, Bangladesh, conducted a webinar event on cybercrime and violence against women in Bangladesh and how to prevent it. Female students, their peers, friends and family were encouraged to join in the discussion. 

The club invited three panelists to speak on the topic:

  • The first speaker was Sabah Moyeen, a Senior Social Development Specialist and Gender Focal point for Bangladesh and Bhutan at the World Bank. Sabah talked about the types of cybercrimes prevalent in Bangladesh and their impacts on society. She also instructed the attendants on building awareness around these issues to end the crime.
  • The second speaker was Amirul Haque, an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Amirul shared his vast knowledge and experience in the cybercrime field and spoke about the legal implications and punitive actions victims can take.
  • The third speaker was Moloy Shaha, who is also an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Moloy is highly experienced in family law and has been a human rights activist since his youth. He discussed the legal aspects of cybercrimes and violent acts and how to speak justice against perpetrators.