Zonta Club of Elizabethtown donates US$400 in gift cards for children at domestic violence shelter

As has been a December tradition for many years, members of the Zonta Club of Elizabethtown, USA, completed a service project to support the SpringHaven Domestic Violence Shelter with donations of gift cards.

Members donated 16 gift certificates in the amount of US$25 each to the shelter that could be used by parents or shelter staff to purchase gifts for the children. Club members felt the support was especially needed this year, as the shelter is operating differently due to COVID-19 and fewer groups are involved in activities with shelter residence.

District 17 hosts webinars and events for district-wide Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign

District 17 commemorated the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence with a massive district-wide Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign featuring webinars and events to empower women, particularly during the time of the pandemic when they have become more vulnerable to abuse by even the closest of family members.

Aligning with a quote by Past International President Olivia Ferry, “By empowering a woman she can protect herself from violence,” more than 100 events to empower women and raise awareness about gender-based violence were offered through online platforms and social media between 25 November and 10 December. Topics covered women’s challenges, laws and protection, international diplomacy on discrimination of women, financial literacy, wellness, livelihood through urban gardening, technology and science, and more.

Sixteen Zontians exemplifying the empowered helped promote the campaign as they partnered with a credit card company’s rewards program, where double rewards points were donated to the Zonta Foundation for Women.

The campaign aimed at creating awareness about Zonta International and its advocacies while promoting funding and membership. Extensive publicity on print, radio, TV, social media and billboards were engaged to promote the campaign.

Zonta Club of Brussel Zavel advocates ending violence against women on Orange Day

As a recurring yearly tradition, the Zonta Club of Brussel Zavel, Belgium, organized a Zonta Says NO to Violence against Women’ moment of momentum in Brussels.

On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the club succeeded—in collaboration with the Cabinet of the Mayor of the Capital of Brussels, Philippe Close—to have all ‘Grand Place’ buildings colored in orange.  

BrusselsBlogt published an interview with Régine Claeys, president of the Zonta Club of Brussel Zavel. Click here to read it.

On 25 November, under the lead of members Dominique Walravens and Annelie Mertens, the club gathered at the Grand Place with their orange face masks from the Zonta Club of Dendermonde, orange umbrellas and flyers. With respect to the gathering ban and the strengthened COVID-19 measures, the club was under the supervision of the local police and State Security.

That morning on Radio 1’s program, “De Ochtend met Ruth Joos,” an interview took place that brought violence against women under the radar. The scope of Zonta’s activities were made more tangible, which helps the club make a difference.

The club also put together a short video summarizing their actions.

Zonta Club of Ruse works with partners to host photo exhibition and orange their city

The Zonta Club of Ruse co-organized, with Soroptimist International Club Ruse and Dynamics Crisis Center, a photo exhibition. The exhibition in Ruse, Bulgaria, showed photos dedicated to the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

The club also worked with Ruse Municipality, Soroptimist International Club Ruse, Dynamics Crisis Center and Lawlanders Ruse to turn iconic buildings orange on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Zonta Club of Accra Jubilee advocates for ending violence against women in community walk

The newly chartered Zonta Club of Accra Jubilee, Ghana, organized its first event—a fundraising health walk—on 5 December during the 16 Days of Advocacy to support the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign.

With the support of members and executives, other clubs in Accra, members of their sponsoring and mentoring committee and family and friends, the club took up placards and embarked on a 4.8-km (3-mi) walk.

During the walk, club members spoke to people on the street, advocating against violence against women. At one bus station, they received pushback from some of the men, who stated it was the women who were abusing them. However, they also met a number of people who were excited about the campaign and honked and cheered them on. All in all, they were well received and there was interest and genuine concern on how to improve.

The club also organized a social media campaign to created awareness of gender-based violence. They interviewed Isobel Afful-Mensah, a resource person at Pearl Safe Haven. They released the video in 16 parts with 16 themes, including a statement of the problem and ways in which individuals can engage to help curb it. Click here to see the videos.

The Pearl Safe Haven is a refuge where women and children who have suffered abuse can feel safe to rebuild a constructive life for themselves. To learn more about Pearl Safe Haven please visit their website.

Zonta Club of Ilocos Norte spends 16 days advocating ending violence against women and girls

The Zonta Club of Ilocos Norte, Philippines, actively participated in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and posted about their activities daily on their Facebook page.

Some of their activities are below.

  • The club put signs, banners and billboards around their community.
  • The club hosted multiple workshops on topics such as sexual harassment and domestic violence, rape, violence against women and children, HIV and AIDS, and more.
  • The Tobacco Monopoly Monument, one of Laoag City’s iconic structures, was illuminated in orange.
  • Students from the Ilocos Norte National High School (INNHS) Z Club and MMSU-CTE’s Golden Z Club shared their visual pledges to say no to violence against women.
  • Together with the Z club, the club distributed banners bearing hotline numbers of the Philippine National Police and the Social Welfare Department Offices for women and girls to call in the event of any violence against them.
  • The club posted stories from violence survivors on their Facebook page.
  • The club, together with the Mariano Marcos State University College of Teacher Education and Integrated University Laboratory Schools, and the Ilocos Norte National High School, presented a timely and relevant webinar on cybercrimes. Zontian and Atty. Pia Crisologo-Cua, shared her expert advice on how teens can protect themselves in cyberspace and Zontian and Atty. Cherie Bareng-Asistin familiarized participants with cyber libel and theft, and its consequences.
  • The club called on all Local Government Units (LGUs) to make a formal manifestation of its support for SDG 5 by way of a resolution prepared by their City/Municipal Council. To date, 18 LGUs out of the 23 in Ilocos Norte have provided one. The resolutions are a clear indication of the progress the Zonta club in making in raising awareness for the SDG 5 and what it encompasses and we are grateful to the LGUs for heeding their call.

In the news: Zonta Club of Oswego urges 16 days of action on human trafficking

People may not think it can happen in Oswego County, but it does. Human trafficking is a national issue, experts say, even in seemingly wholesome communities.

To raise awareness locally, the Zonta Club of Oswego, USA, is spearheading a coalition of other local organizations for a free online event titled “That Doesn’t Happen Here: Trafficking in Rural Communities” set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10.

According to Zonta Club President Sonia Robinson, this event is part of the larger international “16 Days of Activism,” but this is the first virtual opportunity in Oswego County.

During this time, Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, the Zonta Club is joining thousands of organizations across the globe to raise awareness and support against gender-based violence.

According to the United Nations, the campaign was initially started in 1991 by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) and is now practiced in more than 187 countries worldwide.

“In times with such uncertainty, it continues to be an honor and privilege to provide support and increase awareness of many forms of victimization in Oswego County,” said Stacie France, Oswego County Opportunities response coordinator.

“The goal is to increase the awareness of how trafficking impacts communities such as Oswego County and share information related to national statistics,” France said.

According to France, Oswego County Opportunities will provide training for the event and was contacted to bring this event to professionals throughout the community.

The training for officials at the event will be led by New York State Department of Health Rape Crisis Counselor Kate Salmonsen.

“We were incredibly thankful to have Zonta ask us to provide a training on trafficking in rural communities. This is an issue that many people are unaware of, as well as how prevalent it is in their own community.” Salmonsen said. “It is a true privilege to be able to share resources with members of my community.”

France said Salmonsen will moderate discussions, provide information, statistics and available services.

According to state officials, Human Trafficking is an issue worldwide, and specifically in New York, it has been on the rise.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York had a 70 percent increase in trafficking reports between January and June compared to the same time in 2019. Between March and June of 2020, state agencies had more referrals than any other four-month period prior.

“There is a deeply troubling and prevailing misconception that human trafficking only happens in the shadows and in faraway nations, when in reality it’s a heinous crime that often happens in plain sight and in our communities,” Cuomo said in statement.

According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, two types of human trafficking are recognized by New York: sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Sex trafficking is when someone profits from prostitution, and labor trafficking is coercing or transporting someone to perform labor or services.

Two New York State Penal Laws introduced in 2007 authorize the repercussions for the offenses. One determines that sex trafficking is a class-B felony carrying upward of a 25-year sentence. The other law determines labor trafficking as a class-D felony carrying a punishment upward of seven years.

Robinson said the Zonta Club will be posting updates about the event. To get more information, visit https://zontasaysno.com/zontasvision/campaign/.

Robinson urges community members to contact their representatives in Congress to urge continued funding for the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

According to the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, VAWA grant funding has expired. Appropriations for grants stopped on Feb. 15, 2019, and Congress has yet to re-appropriate grant financing.


Zonta Club of Mascoutah spreads awareness in their town, mayor signs proclamation

The Zonta Club of Mascoutah, USA, placed orange Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women signs and banners around their town. The lights at the main intersection by City Hall were lit orange with orange ribbons.

Mascoutah Mayor Jerry Daugherty signed a proclamation recognizing Zonta’s efforts to end violence against women and girls. The mayor, city manager, chief of police and chamber of commerce president all took part in the photo for the proclamation presentation.

In the news: Zonta Club of Greater Reno teams up with NCEDSV for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

In their effort to stop domestic violence against women and girls, the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCEDSV) is partnering with the Domestic Violence Resource Center and the Zonta Club of Greater Reno for a community-wide observance during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

“In 2012, Zonta International created a worldwide campaign to support the 16 Days movement, called Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women,” said Joy Orlich, President, Zonta Club of Greater Reno. “The signature color is orange, and events will be held in over 60 countries around the world, with one message, ‘Let’s end gender violence’!”

From Wednesday, November 25, 2020 to Thursday, December 10, 2020, NCEDSV, the Domestic Violence Resource Center, and Zonta Club of Greater Reno raised awareness of gender violence to inspire community involvement through the dedicated actions below:

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAG), on November 25, 2020, kicked off the 16 days of activism. IDEVAG aimed to raise awareness through the 2020 UNiTE Campaign Theme: “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!” with the UN Women organization.

On November 30, 2020, the Zonta Club of Greater Reno and the Domestic Violence Resource Center partnered together for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Virtual Event – “How do we say NO to Gender Violence?” This interactive forum was a Facebook live-streamed event that included a panel of local experts and service providers, where viewers were invited to “Add your Voice” to the conversation, via posts and chat box comments.

This year, for Giving Tuesday, NCEDSV teamed up with The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) to encourage communities to take part in supporting survivors and domestic violence organizations by using the #GiveForDV hashtag.