In the news: Zonta Club of Cradle-Coast highlights gender-based violence with shoe displays

The Zonta Club of Cradle-Coast, Australia, District 23, has put shoes and personal stories into more than 20 shops on the Coast as a way to bring awareness to gender-based violence.

Each shoe, which could be a high heel, flat, boot or sandal, had a survivor’s story with it.

“We should always challenge the ‘myth’ that the way a woman dresses somehow suggests ‘asking for it’ or ‘inviting’ discrimination, violence or abuse,” club secretary Karli Franks said.

r0_617_3264_2452_w1200_h678_fmax

The displays are part of the Walk in My Shoes project, started by Zonta clubs in South Australia.

Women survivors of male violence wrote their stories, which were then published in a booklet.

“We hope these stories inspire those experiencing domestic violence or supporting someone who is, to seek help and support. Our aim is to raise awareness of the fact that abuse and violence can happen to anyone in our community; it doesn’t discriminate.”

Continue reading.

Day 13

The decline in child marriage is still slow. To end child marriage in Nepal by 2020, an accelerated effort is required. Zonta supports the Global Programme to End Child Marriage, which is working to end this harmful practice in 12 countries by promoting the rights of adolescent girls to avert marriage and pregnancy and enabling them to achieve their aspirations through education and alternative pathways. Join us in ending all violence against women and girls.

In the news: Zonta Club of Cheektowaga-Lancaster raises awareness to end child marriages

For the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Zonta Club of Cheektowaga-Lancaster, USA, District 4, is raising awareness of child marriage.

This year, the Zonta club will continue with some traditional projects, as well as incorporating new ways to advocate for women’s rights.

Throughout the 16 Days of Activism, club members read A Good Wife by Samra Zafar, an autobiography of Zafar’s own experience with an arranged marriage at a young age and the challenges and opposition she faced to overcome them and live the life she wanted.

Upon reading the book, many members were surprised to learn how drastically child marriage will affect the bride’s life and limit her control. It helped inspire many members to want to help, conjuring powerful emotions as they read about Zafar’s experience.

The Zonta club initiated a letter-writing campaign to discuss the importance of education in a child’s opportunity for economic independence. At the end of November, club members wrote and sent letters to Sen. Charles E. Schumer, asking him to support one piece of legislation, the Protecting Children Through Eliminating Visa Loophole Act S.742 and to co-sponsor S.1071 and the Keeping Girls in School Act.

Continue reading.

Day 12

Did you know that education can be one of the most powerful tools to enable girls to avoid child marriage and fulfill their potential? Through the Let Us Learn project, Zonta is creating opportunities for vulnerable and excluded children—particularly girls—in Madagascar with UNICEF USA. Learn more at https://foundation.zonta.org/Let-Us-Learn-Madagascar.

12_Child Marriage & Education_GM

Day 11

“With our major international project to end child marriage—whose victims are mostly girls—Zonta addresses not only a humanitarian issue, but one that also negatively affects societies. When girls become brides and subsequently mothers, this often ends their education. We advocate for every girl to have the right to finish school.”
—President Susanne von Bassewitz

Ending Child Marriage_President's quote.png

In the news: Zonta Club of New Providence leads the charge to end violence against women in The Bahamas

For the past seven years, Zonta Bahamas has been at the forefront of activism to end violence against women and girls. Zontians have been out there in the community, on public and corporate platforms, bringing awareness and encouraging Bahamians to change the face of violence in this country.

This year, they were at it again, launching the 16 days with a big event in Rawson Square held in conjunction with the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, the Ministry of Health and NGOs. The launch was held on 25 November, the International Day to End Violence Against Women and Girls. The 16 days officially ends on 10 December, which is the United Nations’ appointed International Human Rights Day.

The club’s theme for this year is “From Activism to Advocacy.” One of Zonta’s partners for the 16 days this year, the National Congress of Trade Unions’ Women’s Association, is pushing for the Bahamas government to ratify C-190 – the International Labour Organisation’s Convention to end violence and harassment in the workplace.

It takes a lot of work to pull off the many events Zonta holds – and it’s all volunteer work. Kayla calls it a passion of hers and despite her busy professional life, she will continue to work hard for causes for the betterment of women and girls.

Continue reading.

In the News: Zonta Club of Prowers County observes human rights proclamation

As part of the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign, the Zonta Club of Prowers County, District 12, worked with the city of Lamar, Colorado to issue a proclamation. The proclamation declared the days between 25 November and 10 December as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

Club members are also raising awareness of the issue of violence against women around their community by distributing posters and banners to local businesses.

Read more about the club’s actions here.

German Zonta clubs unite to cover country in orange light

This year, Zonta clubs in Germany broke a record by having a whopping 90 percent of its 130 clubs conduct a Zonta Says NO action. Together, the participating clubs lit up an estimated total of 700 bridges, landmarks, offices, banks and schools in orange light in alignment with Un Women’s campaign to orange the world to end violence against women.

In all 16 federal states from North to South and East to West, from the smallest rural towns to the major German cities, the country radiated orange on the night of 25 November as a symbol of hope against the problem of violence against women and child marriage. Famous buildings such as the Munich airport, Funkturm Berlin radio tower, Parliament building in Düsseldorf, St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt, Alster Lake in Hamburg and even the world-famous football arena from FC Bayern in Munich, Allianz Arena, were lit up in orange light.

German clubs

From the Zonta Club of Ludwigshafen-Pfalz, these photos showcase the nationwide effort to “orange the world,” where more than 100 clubs in Germany lit buildings in orange light and took to the streets to raise awareness of the problem of violence against women.

Zonta clubs around Germany worked tirelessly for months convincing local politicians, institutions, corporations and like-minded organizations to cooperate with them and join in the campaign. Some clubs, such as the Zonta clubs of Dortmund and Osnabrück Westfälischer Friede, managed to light up over 80 buildings in their town alone and others such as the Zonta clubs of Leverkusen and Moenchengladbach Area helped decorate city buses in orange.

This concerted nationwide campaign was accompanied by a huge press campaign on local, regional and national levels. The campaign appeared on German television, radio, online media, newspapers and magazines. The combination of the strong visual theme, the urgency of the problem, the concrete club activity, often in cooperation with other local partners and states, as well as the nationwide campaign, was powerful enough to garner the interest of the press.

Around 25 Zontians helped to make this happen by volunteering to join the national Zonta Says NO Action Group – an inter-district group with representatives from all seven areas in five districts. They developed a huge catalog of promotional materials with a graphic designer, a fellow Zontian. A flyer, poster, banner and roll-up in German, as well as branded umbrellas, scarves, giveaways and more, were designed and could be ordered and customized by all German clubs.

Furthermore, they developed a comprehensive press kit with facts and figures on all aspects of the campaign, thanks to the extensive research done by the German Advocacy Group, and provided the clubs with a press release template they could easily customize for their local activity. They worked endlessly to contact regional and national media and helped find interviews.

One Zontian managed to convince a production company to produce a professional radio spot, which many German radio stations aired at no cost.

Students in one district produced an outstanding video that clubs and other districts could use to motivate local state institutions and corporations to join the campaign. The Zonta webmasters for the German website and Facebook pages ensured the information was current, attractive and motivating for Zontians, the media and the general public alike.

This great success demonstrates the power of the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign and what can be achieved if clubs join forces and a national committee or action group leads and motivates clubs, coordinates and consolidates activities and produces concrete tools and guides for clubs. That inspiration and concrete support of the clubs makes all the difference.