Zonta International advocates promoting the human rights of women at international, national and local levels.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by world leaders in September 2015, provides the platform for action. Although many targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will improve women’s lives, the main focus for Zonta International advocacy is Goal No. 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”
Gender equality is vital to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which envisions a world of “universal respect for human rights and human dignity” and a world in which “every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed.” The 2030 Agenda asserts gender equality not only as a fundamental human right, but as a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Zonta advocacy aims to influence the making and implementation of laws, as well as general attitudes and behaviors. Zonta advocacy promotes real equality, not formal equality alone. Zonta seeks to take fact-based actions, to highlight the root causes of problems and to present solutions with proven results.
ZONTA ADVOCACY – HOW TO?
- TEAM AND SUBJECT
The first step for successful advocacy actions is to identify the team of volunteers who will drive the project. It could be a group in a club, across clubs in the area or in the district, or across districts. One goal is to intensify advocacy actions at a national level. In many districts, this requires advocacy teams across district boundaries.
Once the team is identified, the next step is to identify and select the most important aspect of violence against women and girls in your country/community.
- Violence in open spaces
- Female genital mutilation
- Early marriage
- Other harmful practices
Then it is crucial to determine the focus of the advocacy action. Examples:
- Promote gender equal norms and violence-free environments in schools.
- Support programs that help men to change violent behavior.
- Request “safe cities”: design/lighting of public spaces, safe public transportation, etc.
- Request One-Stop Centers with medical/legal/social help for victims.
- Promote short-term shelters and long term affordable housing for women and children.
- Support vocational training for victims to become self-supporting.
- Request laws that clearly blame perpetrators, not victims.
- Encourage the reporting of violence and give support to victims during legal processes.
- Promote the training of police and legal professionals to understand the issues.
- PLAN AND BUDGET
The following questions can help the advocacy team to prepare the action plan:
- What do we want to achieve? (Goals)
- Who can give it to us? (Audiences)
- What do they need to hear? (Messages)
- Who do they need to hear it from? (Messengers)
- How do we get them to hear it? (Delivery, Actions)
- What resources do we have? (Resources and tools; strengths, money)
- What do we need to develop? (Challenges; gaps)
- How do we begin? (First steps)
- How will we know it’s working or not working? (Evaluation)
Select the most appropriate action(s). Examples:
- Make a presentation at a local school.
- Arrange a public meeting with a prominent speaker/panel and discussion.
- Host a viewing of a film/documentary and discussion.
- Organize a discussion of representatives of different political parties (pre-election a good time).
- Send letters/petitions to relevant legislators.
- Arrange a joint meeting with a men-dominated NGO.
- Organize a fundraiser for Zonta International projects, presenting facts about violence against women.
- For public events – contact local media.
There are many tools available already for the advocacy teams. They can be accessed via this Dropbox link: Advocacy Tools
- General Letter to Government Representatives.
- Istanbul Convention Resources.
- Istanbul Letter to Non-member States.
- Istanbul Letter to Ratify.
- Sample Zonta Says NO Club Letter to Editor.
- Zonta Says NO Press Release for Clubs.
- Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women Proclamation.
- DOCUMENT OUR IMPACT:
Together we are stronger and we are proud of our global impact. Help us compile the efforts and successes by sharing your story not only at club level but at all levels via the link: www.zonta.org/shareyourstory.