The Zonta Clubs of Bombay I and Bombay III in India, District 25, joined together for many activities during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
On 27 November, the senior students of a high school participated in an art competition focused on Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women. The drawings were very imaginative and colorful and the message was well-conveyed.
On 28 November, Zontians, students and teachers of Lady Engineer High School had a peace march carrying placards – Say NO to Violence against Women, Stop Child Marriages, Enhance Status of Women and Importance of Education. The march ended with a street play by the children depicting all types of violence against women and raising their voices against them. The event was covered by the media on a local news channel.
On 30 November a talk was organized for the Zonta club members, teachers and higher grade school students on the topic of Judicial Rights of Women in India. The speaker was Ms. Faranaz Karbhari, an eminent advocate of the Bombay High Court. In a one-hour presentation, she explained the various social, economic, civil and criminal laws for women for women to seek justice. Special emphasis was given to female infanticide and child marriage.
On 4 December, the Zontians, along with the NGO Save the Children India, held a workshop on saying no to violence against women for 32 girls from the slums of Mumbai and survivors of human trafficking.
The Zonta Club of Alytus, Lithuania, District 13, co-organized a screening of the documentary A Better Man, followed by an open discussion about domestic violence.
The film revealed hard consequences of physical abuse and a long and painful way towards healing. In the discussion, they talked about the differences between incidental and systematic violence and how to help victims.
Every year, 50,000 calls for help are received in Lithuania and 1,500 cases reach the court. The most important thing is not to remain indifferent, try to help, to ask, to inquire.
The club organized the event with Human Rights Portal, Lithuanian Center for Human Rights, Center for Equal Opportunities Development and Alytus City Women’s Crisis Center.
Members of the Zonta Club of Toledo I, Ohio, USA made orange beaded bracelets and distributed them with Zonta Says NO information and a fact about child marriage and violence against women.
The Zonta Club of Lagos 1 in Nigeria, District 18, posted a large Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women sign at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
The message will run throughout the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, from 25 November – 10 December and will be viewed by thousands of air travelers and the general public to promote awareness to end violence against women and girls.
Additionally, the club visited the paramount ruler of the Elegushi Community in Lekki, Ikate, Lagos and conveyed the Zonta says NO to Violence Against Women and girls message to the oba (king) to pass it along to the community.
The club also highlighted its message at an end-of-year children’s party on 6 December.
The Zonta Club of Punta del Este-Maldonado in Uruguay, Region South America, is reinforcing the message of their 2017 Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign: Real men only raise their voices to defend women.
The Fire Department of Maldonado participated in the club’s campaign this year, supporting the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The Zonta Club of Greater Reno in Nevada, USA, District 9, collaborated with the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project (NYEP) to create an art installation for their Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
NYEP is a residential housing facility that works with young women who have aged out of the foster care system by providing them with a home-like environment to live in and a structured approach to developing job and life skills to speed their transition into adulthood and self-sufficiency.
With assistance from Zonta club member and retired art instructor Karen Gulash, the staff and residents at NYEP came up with an idea using mannequins to showcase the “light” (the side we present to the outer world) and the “dark” (our inner thoughts, fears and experiences, especially those based on harassment, abuse or violence).
The mannequins are painted and are separated by a mirror-like partition to reflect how we sometimes hide the bad experiences even from ourselves. The Zonta Says NO banner is displayed alongside the installation, along with orange ribbons, facts about sexual harassment and abuse, and a poster that invites onlookers to “Add your voice to end violence against women.” The display is in the lobby of Reno City Hall, where it can be seen both from the outside as people walk by, as well as by the public and elected officials as they walk through the lobby to City Council chambers.
For more information on the club’s Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign and the artists involved in the art installation, read NYEP’s blog post.
The Zonta Clubs of Essex County and Morristown in New Jersey, USA, District 3, and the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking joined to host a screening of Break the Chain, a documentary about two survivors of sex trafficking.
A discussion panel included James Gannon, sheriff of Morris County, and Susan Allen Panzica, member of the steering committee of the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
The Zonta Club of the Adirondacks in New York, USA, District 2, collected 302 bras and raised US$350 to donate to Free The Girls, a nonprofit organization devoted to coming alongside sex trafficking survivors with a path to true freedom.
The bras will be used in Mozambique, El Salvador and Costa Rica to help women rescued from sex trafficking reintegrate into their communities with a viable business opportunity: selling gently used lingerie.
The Zonta Club of Beirut, Lebanon, in District 14, worked with the Lebanon Scout Association to organize a parade to create awareness for ending violence against women and child marriage.