The Zonta Club of Hong Kong East, District 17, partnered with two local groups to organize a traveling exhibit called “Say NO to Child Marriage” to educate shoppers and promote public awareness on the topic of child marriage.
The various posters provided information on violence against women and child marriage, emphasizing Zonta’s focus on ending child marriage and saying NO to child marriage.
The exhibit was displayed over 6 weekends, from 9 December 2018 to 13 January 2019, in various shopping malls.
Plan International served as the exhibit sponsor and LINK was the venue sponsor.
The Zonta Club of Liestal, District 28, displayed information on the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign at a local theater during the 16 Days of Activism.
The goal of the display was to inform moviegoers before they went into their movie.
An information box was placed in the foyer with brochures that included details on the intervention place and important points of contact for women looking for support.
The Zonta Club of Central Oklahoma, District 10, arranged to light the Oklahoma City Skydance Bridge orange in their Zonta Says NO campaign to turn their city orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Club members gathered on 29 November at the bridge, where they were joined by community partners from Palomar, Pivot, and the Oklahoma Coalition.
Members watched the bridge turn orange against the backdrop of the Oklahoma City skyline to make their statement that Zonta says NO to violence against women.
As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Zonta Club of Pocatello, District 8, collected and distributed feminine hygiene and personal care items to distribute to 16 local places for underserved women and girls to have free access to the products.
Members delivered products to one stop a day for 16 days. Each location received at least one box of supplies and some even received two boxes.
Club members collaborated with three businesses to have drop-off locations so non-members could donate and participate as well.
Club members selected 16 places around their community that they felt offered the most access for women and girls in to gain free access to the items. The stops included seven junior and senior high schools, three battered women or homeless shelters, a pantry on the campus of Idaho State University and several other locations that offer services or assistance to a wide variety of community members.
Members who dropped off the donations took selfies and posted them on social media at each stop to help spread the message to end violence against women. They also used the hashtags #womendoing and #tamponladies to help attract attention to their cause.
For many girls, child marriage can seem like the only option. Watch what happens when we give girls choices.
By the end of this year, the Ending Child Marriage Project has the potential to reach 2.5 million girls in 12 countries.
As we begin 2019, reinvigorate your dedication to ending child marriage by joining Zonta International in saying NO to the violating practice.
Zonta Club of de Baronie Breda, District 29, shared the very important message of saying NO to violence against women with the public by handing out yellow roses in their city center on 25 November.
The Mayor of Breda lit the tower of the Grand Church orange. Watch a video of the tower lighting up orange here.
During the 16 Days of Activism, Zonta International, as well as many clubs, focused on ending child marriage. For one club in Dhaka, this focus aligned with a current project from which they have seen success for two local girls.
Through a club-wide service project, members of the Zonta Club of Dhaka II, District 25, have supported two girls in changing their lives after avoiding the pressures of child marriage.
Mohsina Akhtar and Shoma Islam are two young women from remote villages of Bangladesh and both participate in Shathi Samaj, an education project by the Zonta Club of Dhaka II.
While studying, Mohsina Akhtar was forced to get married and her in-laws did not let her continue with her studies. Mohsina underwent both mental and physical abuse during this time. Mohsina reached out to the Zonta club for counseling and advice. With the support of the club members, she was able to leave her marriage and go back to her studies. She is now a student at the University of Dhaka, studying finance. She hopes to become a chartered accountant.
When she was young, Shoma Islam was under pressure to discontinue her studies to get married. However, with the help of the members of the club, Shoma is now a 4th-year student of home economics at the University of Dhaka and is doing very well. She is also currently working with a renowned NGO in Dhaka and is also continuing her studies in food and nutrition. She has a dream of becoming a nutritionist.
Members of the Zonta Club of Dhaka II plan to be by their sides until they fulfill their dreams.
The Zonta Club of Oil City-Franklin in Pennsylvania, USA, District 4, turned a bridge in Oil City orange to create awareness of the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign.
The Zonta Club of Birmingham, District 11, worked with an advertising company to use a billboard to advertise this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.
The billboard was placed on the busy interstate I-65, which goes through the city of Birmingham, to increase awareness of violence against women and provide a hotline number. The location of the sign allowed both the citizens of Birmingham and motorists passing through the city to become aware of Zonta’s position on violence against women.
Members said that although they will never know how many people visited their website or called the hotline, they are happy to know the billboard could have helped even just one person.
Zontians in Alabama and the rest of the United States have a special concern on the issue of child marriage. In Alabama, girls can be married at the age of 16 with a court or parental permission. The U.S. law supporting efforts by law enforcement, nonprofits and government agencies to combat sexual violence and support domestic violence victims, the Violence Against Women Act, could expire soon and there are major obstacles to reauthorization. The major federal law to combat human trafficking and assist victims expired a year ago.
The billboard, along with other action Zonta club members in Birmingham take, is all in the interest of changing existing policies and protecting more women and girls from violence.
The Zonta Club of Petoskey Area in Michigan, USA, District 15, asked its members to say no to violence by saying yes to kindness.
Members participated in the following acts of kindness:
- Made lasagna and took it to two local women’s organizations
- Took a meal to a woman recovering from surgery
- Packed treat bags with daughter and Girl Scout troop for Manna Project (the local food bank)
- Helped two women with pro-bono legal work
- Bought doughnuts for two people in line at a local bakery
- Bought lunch for someone who was having a busy day
- Helped Plunkett and Cooney law firm buy, serve and clean up at the First Presbyterian soup kitchen lunch
- Bought lunch for a cashier at a retail store
- Helped with Flowers for Friends, a local organization that takes flowers to people in the community and facilities to brighten their days (nursing homes, retirement communities, shelters, homebound individuals)
- Drove a woman with an intellectual disability to her job
- Purchased and took a plant to a woman who needed a boost.
- All members brought feminine hygiene items to donate to a local paper pantry.