As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign in 2019, the Zonta eClub of the Philippines1, District 17, joined fellow Zontians worldwide in saying no to violence against women and work to end child marriage by launching an online campaign for gender equality. The campaign was on both Instagram and Facebook and engaged club members who are leaders from various industries to be involved in taking a stand in saying NO to violence against women and work to end child marriage.
Club members created media pages that turned negative connotations of women to their rightful, valued and positive significance. Each page was designed to strengthen gender equality, lessen prejudice and stop violence against women and girls. Each post was shared on the club’s official Instagram account (@zecphils1) as well as individual members’ accounts on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtags #ZontaSaysNO and #16days.
This campaign brings forth the discussion surrounding sexual harassment in the workplace and the need to fundamentally transform the power structure and discriminatory norms that enable gender-based violence and discrimination to exist. By turning negative connotations of women into its positive valuation and rightful importance, club members advocated for a change in attitude in general and more specifically attitudes toward women in the work place. Club members hope this campaign brings awareness as well as accountability to the issue at hand and that the message transcends beyond the work environment.
Exhibition element informing about forced marriage: “It should have been the most beautiful day of my life.”
From 25 November to 11 December, “Welcome at Home” was shown in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. This project was initiated and led by the Zonta Club of Schaffhausen and actively supported by the local police and more than 15 local agencies dealing with domestic violence.
The exhibit and the symposium got a lot of media presence and thus helped to create the public pressure necessary to get politicians moving. In the meantime, the regional parliament has approved to create a body to take charge of implementing the Istanbul Convention in the region.
The target group of the exhibit itself was young adults. Approximately 800 vocational school students were led through the exhibition by a team consisting of a teacher, a policeman and a social worker. The goal was to inform them about the causes, backgrounds and toxic consequences of domestic violence and also about the support services for victims in the region.
Advocacy Chair for the Zonta Club of St. Louis, District 7, promoted the posting of a billboard with the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women messaging.
Judy Jensen promoted the posting of the billboard to support the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.
Past President Sherri Brooks designed the display, which included the international ZI logo, and Barbara Meyer negotiated a discounted rate with the local vendor, DDI Media.
Club members asked passerby to contact their legislators and listed zonta.org for references.
The ad appeared for 10 seconds at a time every minute in rotation with other ads and ran for two weeks.
The Zonta Club of Kankakee supported the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign with the assistance of local law enforcement and others within the criminal justice system.
Law enforcement and criminal justice officials stepped forward to support the 2019 campaign.
The Zonta Club of Offenburg, District 30, took part in this year’s international campaign to say no to violence against women. From 16 to 26 November, the historic town hall in Offenburg, a city located at the brim of the Black Forest and close to the French city of Strasbourg, was illuminated in bright orange and attracted a lot of visitors and passers-by.
As in Offenburg, the Christmas lighting and the Christmas Market started 26 November and the Zonta club had to organize the campaign before that date. At the same time, a cooperation with the bakers’ association was initiated and 40,000 bread bags were printed that were distributed to all the local bakery shops. They had the slogan “Zonta Says NO” printed on one side and “Gewalt kommt mir nicht in die Tüte” on the other side. “Das kommt nicht in die Tüte” is a German saying meaning “this is an absolute no-go”, so the inscription reads “Violence is an absolute no-go”.
On 25 November, the international day against violence against women, various local celebrities distributed bags filled with pretzels for free. Among these were the Mayor of Offenburg and Christina Obergföll, gold-medalist in javelin throwing.
The press coverage was excellent. All in all, the fourteen club members of the Zonta Club of Offenburg were very content with the outcome of the campaign and would like to repeat the campaign in 2020.
Members of the Zonta Club of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, District 28, are proud that they managed to illuminate numerous public and private buildings for one week in orange light in honor of the Zonta Says NO campaign and Zonta’s centennial anniversary.
The Hambach Castle, the Hornbach Tower, the Cineplex, the Wolfsburg, the town hall and other city buildings, the Stiftskirche and the Gimmeldinger church, along with many other buildings, were illuminated.
The lighting of the Hambach Castle was particularly successful as it is one of the most important symbols of German democracy. At the Hambacher Fest in May 1832, the German flag was carried in black, red and gold for the first time. Which is why the Hambach Castle is known as the cradle of German democracy. This was very important as a symbol of the campaign.
The Zonta Says NO Campaign for the Zonta clubs of Bombay I and Bombay III, District 25, commenced on 4 December with members of both the clubs saying no to violence against women and child marriage.
The students of Lady Engineer School, both girls and boys in ninth and tenth grade classes participated in the program. Club members showed a video of Kirti Bharti of Saarthi Trust, who is a warrior against child marriage and interviews of girls rescued from child marriage and now leading a better life. These depicted the ill effects of child marriage and created social awareness.
Next, slides were projected with various captions saying no to violence and child marriage and advocating for the protection and safety of women.
The students were asked to share their views and it was nice to see the boys equally and enthusiastically participating along with the girls.
Two dances were performed by the students. One depicted violence against women, particularly rape and how to fight it and the second focused on women’s empowerment.
A pledge was taken by the students, teachers and Zonta members to stop violence and child marriage whenever and wherever witnessed or heard. The session ended with the dance participants receiving certificates of appreciation.
On 9 December, both the Zonta Club of Bombay I and Zonta Club of Bombay III, District 25, joined with the NGO Save the Children India to host a talk and workshop .
The workshop was conducted by the Counselor Ms. Reshma and her team and it focused on sexual harassment at home and outside the home, as well as legal and social recourse to combat the issue. A few Bolllywood songs were shown to the girls and questions were asked and they were made to understand the reality of violence against women and girls. The presidents of the clubs shared the importance of changing their point of views or understanding of the situation in the community.
The participants of the event were girls under 18 from four community centers and shelter homes in Mumbai. It was a very interesting and interactive session with active participation from all, including the Zonta members.
On 10 December there was session focused on sex and gender and for the finale, both clubs sponsored gifts which were distributed to about 130 girls from their shelter homes and community centers.
On 4 December, members from Zonta International District 15 gathered at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing for its first-ever advocacy day.
Zonta members met with representatives and staffers who did not know that minors can get married in Michigan. Rep. Kara Hope, a cosponsor of one of the bills to end child marriage, and Rep. Daire Rendon, who sits on the judiciary committee, came to the district’s legislative briefing.
District 15 Governor-Elect Deanna Cambridge joined Rep. Sarah Anthony at a press conference and Anthony welcomed Zontians to the House gallery during the legislative session.
Click here to see more photos.
During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the Zonta Club of Pontiac-North Oakland, USA, District 15, had a display at the Oakland County Courthouse.
The display included silhouettes of women, which represented the 17 Oakland County residents who died from domestic violence last year.
There were also 42 paper dolls, each representing 100 assaults, for a total of more than 4,200 reported assaults last year.
“This is nothing to be proud of. Domestic Violence is not about love; it is all about power,” Gail Johnson, Zonta Club of Pontiac-North Oakland president, told The Oakland Press.