Bulgaria Zonta clubs unite to say NO to violence against women and girls with a dance celebration

On 25 November, the world turned orange during the global “Orange the world” initiative to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

In Bulgaria, Zonta clubs in the cities of Sofia, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Burgas, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo and Ruse actively participated in various initiatives and all united around the same initiative under the title “In the rhythm of dance and holding hands – ZONTA says NO to violence against women and girls.”

Various dance ensembles and citizens took part in the flash mob to express their protest through the power of Bulgarian folk dance and to declare their categorical “NO to violence against women and girls.”

The clubs called on the attendees of the flash mob and all people in the country of Bulgaria to be active, uncompromising defenders of the right of every woman to live in a better world—a world without violence. Despite the unfavorable weather conditions, the participants showed their commitment to the cause through their talent.

All clubs in District 30 Area 5 will say “NO to violence” through different activities planned within the16 days of the campaign.

The campaign received great media and press coverage within the country.

Read more at: https://www.zonta-area05d30.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/Area05District30ZontaInternational

Zonta Club of Christchurch South hosts 20th annual Zonta Says NO Breakfast

Last week, the Zonta Club of Christchurch South, New Zealand, held its 20th annual Zonta Says NO Breakfast.

Dressed in orange, club members welcomed their 100 guests, including special guests such as their city’s mayor, his wife and District Governor Phillippa Jacobs Lory. Some Avonside Girls’ High School Z Club members and the Rotary Sunshine Club supported the event.

The club sold raffles to fundraise and invited Celine Donovan to speak about domestic violence and how the community can respond.

Zonta Club of New Territories kick off Zonta Says NO during their 40th club anniversary

The Zonta Club of New Territories, Hong Kong, kicked off the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign at their 40th club anniversary celebration event.

Club members and guests gathered to show off their orange and raise awareness of gender-based violence.

Zonta e-Club of Roma Parioli shines a spotlight on Iranian women during the 16 Days of Activism

The Zonta e-Club of Roma Parioli, Italy, kicked off the 16 Days of Activism with an art exhibition event to stand with the women in Iran. As thousands of Iranian women are risking their lives and taking to the streets to reclaim their rights, the club wanted to celebrate their courage and resilience. The exhibit will remain open for all 16 Days of Activism until 10 December.

The club invited experts such as Dr. Tiziana Ciavardini to speak during the event. Tiziana is an Italian cultural anthropologist and journalist who has lived more than 13 years in Iran – a country that she frequently denounces its anti-feminist regimes.

Many professional artists and beginners, who support the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign, donated their works to the exhibition. Two guests at the opening night were artist Pamela Squarta and Mahroo Hemati, a young Iranian artist.

Until the exhibit closes, guests are welcome to bid on any artwork, and all proceeds will be donated to Zonta International’s Foundation for Women. In addition to the exhibition, there is also a fundraising raffle.

Zonta Club of Alytus brings awareness to gender-based violence with ‘You Are Not Alone’ project

The Zonta Club of Alytus, Lithuania, worked with the Alytus Women’s Crisis Center for its “You Are Not Alone” project, which brings awareness to violence against women and girls. The club aims to raise awareness, reduce indifference and eliminate the perception that violent relationships can be justified.

Two lectures were presented—one in person and one online—”Awareness of Domestic Violence: The Dynamics of the Circle of Violence” and “The Path of Help for Those Who Have Experienced Violence.” The lectures were delivered by a psychologist and a lawyer from the Alytus Women’s Crisis Centre.

After the lectures, people met outside the Alytus City Theatre and formed a procession to the Alytus Women’s Crisis Center, where there was an orange door symbolizing opening a door if you need help.

Zonta Club of Schaffhausen memorializes femicide victims to kick off 16 Days of Activism

The Zonta Club of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, joined Soroptimist Schaffhausen to host a memorial and solidarity procession on 24 November. The action was musically framed atmospherically with the choir “salto cordale.”

The event also included an installation of shoes, which symbolized the number of femicides committed in Switzerland in 2022.

Zonta clubs in Wyoming participate in state proclamation acknowledging 16 Days of Activism and Zonta Says NO

On 2 November, the Zonta of Cheyenne, USA, participated in a signing ceremony where Governor Mark Gordon issued a proclamation acknowledging the upcoming 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and the crucial work the Zonta clubs in Wyoming are doing. The proclamation also includes language urging citizens “to support those who work to end gender violence and to learn the detrimental consequences gender violence has on the well-being of the community.”

The club has arranged for a gubernatorial proclamation at the start of 16 Days of Activism for many years, and this year’s ceremony follows that tradition. Zontians at the ceremony had a chance to share a small portion of the history of 16 Days of Activism, and some of the work done in the community to raise awareness about the Zonta says NO to Violence Against Women campaign.

Zonta Club of Beaune Cote d’Or inaugurates Red Bench in honor of local gender-based violence victims

The Zonta Club of Beaune Cote d’Or, France, held an inauguration of a Red Bench in the hobby of the local hospital in memory of Audrey Clément and her daughter Albane, who were both brutally murdered on 8 May due to gender-based violence. The perpetrator was an intimate partner of Audrey and a father to Albane. After the terrible femicide, the club supported the family with many hospital workers.

“The bench must be a memorial, and it is a way to remember collectively!” said Zontian Marion Leuba. “Everything must be said about this barbaric act. This femicide took place on 8 May by a man who was both the companion, father and colleague of his victims … we are here to remember once again and stop time. This bench that becomes a monument will be responsible for transmitting this history, reactivating this emotion so that no one forgets what happened that day. These femicides have particularly upset us Zonta members, and they convinced us that more than ever, we had to fight violence against women and girls around the world.”

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.