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 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 Fredericksburg walks in her footsteps

The Zonta Club of Fredericksburg, TX, USA, had big plans again to promote the awareness of the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign.

This year, the club wanted to raise awareness of the campaign in the schools of Fredericksburg and by contacting our local and state government representatives. Zontian Lisamarie Williams met with Dr. Joe Rodriguez, the Fredericksburg Independent School District (FISD) superintendent, to discuss the campaign awareness.

The club aimed to raise awareness in the elementary and middle schools, with the staff’s aid, and in the high schools with the student body. As a young boy, Joe was personally affected by domestic violence, so the campaign was a subject near and dear to his heart.

The theme A Walk in Her Footsteps was proposed for the high school campaign, and orange paper footprints lined up the main hallway for a visual impact for the students to see during the 16 Days of Activism.

The club also placed a table in the foyer with a banner that says Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women and an eye-catching orange table cloth. Various student clubs were enlisted to manage the table during break time and before and after school to hand out pre-cut footprints for students and staff to write words of encouragement on and post them on the walls.

Many students participated in the event, and the wall was full of orange footprints.

The club also handed out orange ribbon stickers for everyone who posted a footprint. Informational cards were available as well.

The campaign was a grand success, and the club is proud of the efforts that the students, student clubs and its members put forth to make the event happen.

Zonta Club of Dhaka II holds movies screening to fundraise and Say NO

The Zonta Club of Dhaka II, Bangladesh, teamed up with its Golden Z Club of Young Leaders to arrange a movie screening of Rehana Maryam Noor at a cineplex in Dhaka as a part of its fundraising. The event also aimed to create awareness of gender-based violence on 10 December.

The movie is about an assistant professor and single mother who one day happens to witness the sexual assault of one of her students by her superior. The film was nominated at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and received numerous accolades.

The mayor of Dhaka City North inaugurated the event.

Zonta Club of Dhaka II walks to say NO to violence

As a part of its 16 Days of Activism during the Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women campaign, the Zonta Club of Dhaka II, Bangladesh, collaborated with its Golden Z Club members to hold a walk and a brief yoga session at the Justice Shahabuddin park in Gulshan. The event took place on 4 December with the support of the Dhaka City Corporation.

In the news: Birmingham women’s group seeks to fight human trafficking

image.pngPhoto courtesy of the Zonta Club of Birmingham

The Zonta Club of Birmingham recently put up this billboard on I-65 South at Exit 250 to draw attention to the problem of human trafficking, especially in the run up to The World Games 2022 in Birmingham in July.
Birmingham has a reputation as a major center for human trafficking, according to law enforcement and other officials.

This is true in part because the city is at the center of several major transportation routes — I-20, I-59 and I-65.

I-20 has often been dubbed a sort of “superhighway” for human trafficking.

Now a women’s group in the area with a long history of concern over trafficking and women’s issues has put up a billboard on I-65 to draw attention to the problem.

The Zonta Club of Birmingham put up the billboard on I-65 South at exit 250 on Dec. 4, and it will remain up until Jan. 2, club member Jean Bouler told Iron City Ink. 

The billboard contains the message, “See something. Say something,” meaning that citizens should report what they consider suspicious activity, and has a phone number, 888-373-7888.

“The billboard is in response to the The World Games 2022 in Birmingham,” Bouler said.

The World Games will take place in the Birmingham area July 7-17 this year and is expected to draw about 100,000 visitors to the city from all over the world.

Club members are concerned that The World Games could cause a uptick in demand for sexual trafficking.
Other officials have expressed a similar concern, including Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.

“An increase in tourists seeking entertainments, including commercial sex, increases the potential risks for exploitation and human trafficking,” Woodfin said in December 2019, according to a report at Birmingham Watch.

The Zonta Club of Birmingham will also host a virtual program about the issue, “Human Trafficking: An American Problem,” on Jan. 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.   

The program will be led by Amy Wagar, a human trafficking survivor advocate and trainer in Birmingham.
To register, go to Eventbrite.

The Zonta Club of Birmingham was started in 1940 by professional women who were not allowed to join the then male-only Kiwanis and Rotary clubs. The goal is to empower women through service and advocacy.

Zonta of Birmingham has long been aware of human trafficking because it is a major issue with Zonta International, Bouler said.

The international organization has chapters in 63 countries and works with the United Nations to provide financial support and technical assistance to women and children in developing countries.

The local club has about 35 members and taken on the issue of human trafficking in the past, sponsoring programs, speakers and posters in restaurant restrooms, Bouler said.

For several years, the club has funded billboards in Birmingham with the message, “Say No to Violence Against Women.”  “We also support the YWCA women’s shelter and are hopeful that the billboard message helps,” Bouler said.  

The club also promotes women’s issues online, said club member Alison Smith.


Key West Palm Trees Go Orange

Every November, the Zonta Club of Key West, USA, goes orange to support the Zonta Says NO campaign to end gender-based violence. The club decked out palm trees with orange ribbons along North Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November.

The ribbons included information cards about the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women initiative to get more people not to look away but to speak up and take action, and get involved in their community. The club hung the orange ribbons during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November to 10 December, International Human Rights Day.

Residents and visitors of Key West were encouraged to support the campaign by wearing orange during the 16 Days.

The club strived to raise awareness and promote open discussions to help end violence against women and eliminate the detrimental consequences this violence has on the well-being of their community, including women, partners, children – One Family.

The Key West Commission presented the annual proclamation to the club in recognition of 16 Days of Activism, permitting the display of the orange ribbons.