Saint Michael’s College of Laguna student clubs join ‘iFIGHT’ movement during 16 Days of Activism


During the 2017 Zonta Says NO to Violence against Women and 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaigns, the Z and Golden Z clubs of Saint Michael’s College of Laguna, Philippines, spearheaded the relaunch of iFight, a youth movement to end human trafficking and modern slavery in this generation.

The clubs hosted a forum in which Cecille Oebanda, founding president of Visayan Forum Foundation, spoke. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1991, has rescued and helped thousands of victims and potential victims of trafficking. At the event, Oebanda discussed the facts of human trafficking, basic prevention practices and government intervention measures.

24300884_10213105373802697_7222900144462593430_nThe students also led everyone in a chant, where they shouted, “We fight against human trafficking,” and they made a human formation of “iFIGHT.”

Attendees volunteered to be iFight ambassadors who will provide more information to students so they can protect themselves, their families and their peers.

Students set up an “iFight Freedom Wall,” where attendees wrote their support and thoughts about issues that continue to endanger women and girls. They also created a closed social media group to provide an online safe space for women and girls to express themselves freely.

Zonta clubs of Bombay I and III work with Save the Children India to host events during 16 Days of Activism campaign

The Zonta clubs of Bombay I and III, India (District 25) partnered with Save the Children India to recognize the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

Beginning on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, through 10 December, Human Rights Day, the two groups participated in various activities.

Save the Children India is an NGO that prevents exploitation and discrimination of vulnerable women and children and empowers them to lead a life of dignity, self-respect and independence.

Over the various days of activism, more than 150 girls living in vulnerable conditions were provided opportunities to learn about issues relating to gender-based violence. The events included the screening of women-led films, which were followed by discussions, as well as drawing and poster making competitions. These helped the girls reflect on discrimination prevalent in their communities and possibly in their families. The girls also visited a police station to better understand the role of police in regards to issues related to violence against women and women’s rights. Rallies were held in the communities to create awareness of gender issues as well as to spread messages to strive for equality.

Bombay I III 2

The advocacy campaign culminated at the head office of Save The Children India with a day-long event that featured sessions focusing on providing conceptual clarity of gender, explaining the difference between sex and gender, and international initiatives in place to eliminate gender-based violence.

Zonta members of both clubs had discussions with the girls and volunteers at the events.

The Zonta Club of Bombay I also conducted a need-based project at the Asha Sadan Rescue Home. The club donated personal and housekeeping items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, and Talc powder to the girls living at the adoption agency. The donations were worth 4,000 Rupees.

The Vice President of the Zonta Club of Bombay I Shernaz Hathiram also gave a talk on human trafficking and the girls interacted with the members and shared their thoughts on the topic.

Zonta Club of Iisalmi campaigns for 20 days as part of 20th anniversary

Photo caption: The city manager of Iisalmi and local industrial entrepreneurs took photos wearing their orange squares to show their support for Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women.

In 2017, the Zonta Club of Iisalmi actively campaigned for twenty days instead of sixteen as part of the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaigns.

The extended campaign was in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Zonta Club of Iisalmi, which was established in 1997. The advocacy committee of the club chose to focus on the education of girls for the theme of the extended campaign.

Funds were gathered for the Let Us Learn Madagascar program to support girl’s education. The club sold 1,200 lottery tickets and was able to donate EUR $2,400 to the cause. The slogan was “An educated girl can choose a better life.”

The club also took the opportunity to challenge men to take part in the HeForShe campaign. One club member sewed over 200 orange pocket squares that were handed out by Zontians to men in power both locally as well as in the parliament of Finland. The club members hoped these would be used as a symbol of the men’s commitment towards the goal of global equality. In the parliament, there were fifty pocket squares handed to male members. The president of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, who is an Impact Champion of HeForShe, got a pocket square. The city manager of Iisalmi and local industrial entrepreneurs took photos wearing their orange squares.

The local newspaper published the writings of six local men in powerful positions regarding violence, equality and education supporting the campaign. A panel discussion was held on the local radio station, featuring the same themes as well as poems regarding women and education. The poems were chosen and read by Zontians and were performed almost daily.

Zonta Club of Gaylord Area calls on young men to pledge to end violence against women


The Zonta Club of Gaylord Area, District 15, arranged for the Gaylord High School wrestling and varsity boys basketball teams to take the White Ribbon Pledge to end violence against women.

The event, titled “Our Team Says NO,” came on the heels of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. The event featured local men in Michigan who stepped forward to add their voices to the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign.

On 20 December, the Gaylord High School Wrestling and Varsity Boys Basketball teams took the White Ribbon Pledge.

The pledge read: “I pledge not to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. From this day forward, I promise to be part of the solution to end all forms of this violence.”

Now a worldwide campaign, the White Ribbon Pledge was created in 1991 by a group of Toronto men as a way for men to raise awareness of violence against women. According to the pledge, it is the responsibility of all men to step up, speak out and take action against violence. The campaign seeks to promote healthy relationships, gender equity and a compassionate vision of masculinity.


Megan King of the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan urged Gaylord athletes to use their visible role to help make positive social change by initiating respect. In addition to leading the young men in the white ribbon pledge, she explained the origins of the White Ribbon Pledge and shared two short videos. The first featured the Red Riots high school basketball team in Maine who said they chose, “not be defined by the strength of our arms and legs, but rather by the strength of our character.” The second video featured professional football players from the Toronto Argonauts who said it is about “leading by example both on and off the field.”

Zonta Club of Gaylord Area President Amber Theriault followed King’s presentation by asking the athletes to not initiate or encourage inappropriate jokes. Rather, she called on them to help make a cultural shift. Theriault challenged the student-athletes to commit to and share the message of respect for women.

Cherie Nutter, a Zonta member and president of the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan Board of Directors, closed the event by speaking of the goal to keep local young athletes from making gender-biased slurs.

The Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan has also created a program titled “Coaching Boys Into Men,” designed to encourage coaches to teach young athletes about respecting women and working to end violence against women.

Zonta Club of Suedschwarzwald Area partners with local church for Zonta Says NO event

Zonta Club of Südschwarzwald

Zonta Club of Suedschwarzwald Area, District 30, joined with a local church in Bad Säckingen to raise awareness for the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign.

Once a month, cantor Markus Machowiak of Saint Fridolinsmünster in Bad Säckingen hosts a local musician for a series called “a concert during market-time”. The concert takes place around noon and always attracts many visitors from the farmers market held in front of the church.

The concert on 18 November was dedicated to the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign. All donations offered during the event were collected to be given to a women’s refuge in Waldshut, a nearby town.

The Zonta club advertised the event and the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign in local newspapers and handed out information to the audience. Club President Nicole Aelling-Kurz gave a speech about the concert.

Over 100 community members enjoyed the organ performance by local musician Karin Karle and over 600 Euro was donated.

Eva-Maria Zuber, Regina Keite and Angelika Metzger from the women’s refuge in Waldshut were very happy to accept the donation. The refuge is a shelter for ill-treated women and their children and offers a hotline and counseling for women who have experienced any kind of violence.

Zonta Club of Kauai donates survivor bags to local shelter


As part of their advocacy efforts for the Zonta Says NO To Violence Against Women and 16 Days of Activism campaigns, the Zonta Club of Kauai members collected supplies for a local family shelter.

Club members presented survivor gift bags to YWCA Shelter Director Erica Beighley, who said the donations were much appreciated.

Read the rest of the story here.

Zonta Club of Central Oklahoma shows support for campaign with orange bridge

Zonta Club of Central OklahomaThe Zonta Club of Central Oklahoma and local partners gathered at the Oklahoma City Skydance Bridge on 30 November to show support of the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign during the 16 Days of Activism.

The color of the Skydance Bridge was changed to orange in support of the campaign.  Pictures of the event were shared on social media to increase awareness.

Zonta Club of Jamestown, ND calls on men to support 16 Days of Activism campaign



The Zonta Club of Jamestown, ND enlisted men in the community to stand with women during the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaigns and challenged them to continue support beyond the 16 days.

The North Dakota club launched a program called “Stand With Us,” which was aimed at raising awareness of the importance of men intervening when they witness violence against women.

In partnership with the Jimmie Knight Society at the University of Jamestown, a table was set up for 16 days outside of the campus cafeteria. The Knights approached male students to discuss violence against women and focused much of the discussion specifically on the issue of violence against women on college campuses.


When they committed to intervening if they ever see a fellow student in danger of assault, the male students received a white ribbon.

Additionally, members of the Zonta club asked prominent male figures in the community to take a photo with a “Stand With Us” sign. The photos were then displayed at a local shopping mall.

Yard signs were also placed at the Zonta Park in Jamestown.

Members said the project was a simple way to spread the Zonta message and that by continuing to see people in the community wearing the white ribbons, they believe it was successful.

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Zonta Club of Hamm/Unna feels solidarity from local community during 16 Days of Activism Campaign


Zonta Club of Hamm/Unna in Germany supported the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women Campaign by illuminating local buildings orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

Seven well-known public buildings located throughout the city of Unna were illuminated by an orange light on 25 November. Encouraged by the overwhelming response of the general public after last year’s activism, the Zonta Club of Hamm/Unna made a greater effort in this year’s campaign to convince local companies to participate.

During the event, Zontians distributed orange glow sticks to pedestrians and explained the campaign. Members said the solidarity displayed by the community was impressive.


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Zonta Club of Iserlohn Area encourages students to think about violence against women


The Zonta Club of Iserlohn Area, District 29,  hosted a school project about violence against women and children during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

The students presented a survey asking about places in the city women don’t feel comfortable in or where they have faced dangerous situations.

Club members said male students were very eager participants as well.

The club also encouraged people to write related poems for a poetry slam.

Cardboard cutouts of women showed community members the way to the poetry slam on 24 November.  Many politicians, community leaders and interested citizens came to support the club and mission.

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