For 100 years, Zonta International has contributed to help achieve a world free of violence against women and girls through service and advocacy.
Violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive human rights violations and a global epidemic. It knows no national or cultural barriers; it takes place at home, in the workplace and in open spaces, and affects millions of women and girls in peacetime and conflict. It includes psychological, physical and sexual violence, and harmful practices such as rape, female genital cutting, child marriage and human trafficking. Violence against women and girls threatens countries, inhibits economic progress, and prevents women from contributing to their community and creating better lives for themselves and their families.
Our ongoing service efforts are demonstrated through numerous local projects and programs, through the Zonta International Strategies to End Violence against Women (ZISVAW) program and through Zonta’s partnerships with the United Nations and its agencies.
Our ongoing advocacy impact is built around the advocacy campaign “Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women.” Launched in 2012, the campaign has raised awareness of the global pandemic of women’s rights violations and has united Zonta clubs worldwide in conducting impactful advocacy actions to fight violence against women and gender inequality.
All Zonta clubs and districts are encouraged to take advocacy actions throughout the year:
To promote the human rights of women
To promote Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”
To end violence against women and girls
During the 16 Days of Activism, 25 November-10 December, all Zonta clubs and districts are encouraged to take part in the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign and to take local, national and international actions to influence the making and implementation of laws, as well as changing gender-based attitudes and behaviors to end violence against women.
In 2019, the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign will focus on child marriage, one of the worst obstacles girls are facing globally and a severe human rights violation. Zonta clubs around the world are called upon to create awareness of this harmful practice among their members and the public.
The Council of Europe Istanbul Convention (Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence) covers all forms of violence against women, including early and forced marriage, and provides the practical framework and the advocacy tools upon which actions can be based.
The Istanbul Convention is open to accession by any country in the world and therefore a concrete tool for all Zonta clubs worldwide to specifically fight violence against women and girls.
In July 2018, Zonta started a major international project: UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage. We will maximize our impact through service and advocacy by combining donations to this project with service and advocacy activities at the district/region and club level.
Here are two key ways you can participate in the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign:
- Be a part of making our important message going viral. Each day, starting 24 November, Zonta International will release a new graphic that highlights important facts that illustrate the need to end child marriage. When you like, comment and share these original posts, the message of Zonta says NO to violence against women and child marriage will be seen as highly engaging content and will stay relevant on social news feeds. The longer the posts stay on the news feeds, the larger our audience will be throughout the campaign.
- Share how you are saying NO. Share with the rest of the world what your club, area and district are doing this campaign year to end child marriage through your local service and advocacy actions by filling out the Share Your Story form on zonta.org. These actions will be shared on zontasaysno.com and on our Twitter network.
Please join us! And share your story!
Please use the tools (Public Relations Tools and Advocacy Tools) provided on the Take Action page to develop and conduct Zonta advocacy actions to end violence against women and girls worldwide. The tools provide helpful knowledge about violence against women to make your advocacy activities a success. And remember to share your actions and their impact through Share Your Story. These actions will be featured on the Zonta Says NO campaign webpage and official social media pages.
If you need more details or if you have questions regarding the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign and how you and your club can get involved, visit the FAQs page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of women and girls in our local communities and around the world!
To better understand Zonta International’s partnership with the United Nations and the Council of Europe, we have created introductory images that you can select and download.