Zonta Club of Pampanga turns Salakot Arch orange to promote ending violence against women

On 25 November, members of the Zonta Club of Pampanga in the Philippines trooped to the Salakot Arch in Clarkfield, Pampanga, armed with nothing but vigor in promoting a community free of violence against women (VAW). salakot-arch

The iconic Salakot Arch, a symbol of Fil-Am friendship, was adorned with orange cloth. While chanting “VAW free Philippines starts with me,” Zontians and other attendees witnessed the arch turn orange as it was lit with orange lights. The lighting was immediately followed by a magnificent fireworks display.

The “Orange Your Icon (OYI)” advocacy initiative is an activity spearheaded by the Philippine Commission on Women and the Department of Tourism, which seeks to raise awareness in ending VAW “through decorating or embellishing famous and prominent tourism sites or attractions in the country with something that is colored orange.”

lectureClub President Karen Anne Guevarra gave a brief lecture on Republic Act 9262, otherwise known as the Anti Violence Against Women and Children Act. She also gave an overview of the other laws protecting women such as the Anti-Rape, Anti-human trafficking, and anti-sexual harassment laws.

She stressed that eradicating violence against women is not solely women’s task but acknowledges that men in society equally plays a crucial role. As she put it, “Do not teach girls how to dress. Teach boys how to see.”

salakot-arch-fence-signsThe club also placed signs on the fence around the Salakot Arch that say, “Violence-free community starts with me.” The signs remained throughout the 16 Days of Activism until 10 December.

Italian Zonta clubs recognize violence against women with moment of silence at rugby games

italian-zonta-clubs-action-of-silenceZonta clubs in Italy participated in the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign by organizing an “action of silence” at a rugby games.

At rugby games, a period of silence was observed to remind people of the need to combat gender-based violence. The Italian Area 3 of District 28 took part in this action, along with the Italian Area 3 of District 30.

The clubs received an award in recognition of the campaign. The event was reported across several media outlets, including on television.

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley displays red dresses during 16 Days of Activism

zonta-club-of-santa-clarita-valleyThe Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, in partnership with the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the City of Santa Clarita, participated in the 2016 Zonta Says NO to Violence campaign.

The Red Dress campaign is a visually impactful and moving campaign aimed toward bringing awareness to the violent acts and the victims who have lost their lives in our community because of them.

The Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign displayed seven red dresses around Santa Clarita, California, USA, to symbolize seven women who have lost their lives to domestic violence in our community.

All the dresses were displayed outside, vulnerable to wind and weather. Those elements animate the dresses, representing the life that is missing. The color of the dresses is meant to symbolize love and spilled blood, an inescapable reminder of the intimacy of domestic abuse. The dresses were on display throughout the city from Saturday, November 26, to Sunday, December 11.

Residents could see these dresses at several locations throughout the city, including City Hall, Santa Clarita Valley Court House, Santa Clarita Valley Station, Valencia Library, Old Town Newhall Farmers Market at the Old Town Newhall Library parking lot, Veterans Historical Plaza, College of the Canyons, along Main Street and at selected local schools and churches.

These bright red symbols are reminders of the reality of domestic violence. During the first half of 2015, an unprecedented 11 homicides were committed in Santa Clarita, six in relation to domestic violence. Educational information was distributed at every location where the dresses were displayed.

In 2016 there were no deaths related to domestic violence, but one dress was added for a 19-year old who was in the Santa Clarita Domestic Violence Shelter. When she left the shelter, she returned to her danger zone and her abuser tracked her down and killed her.

This was the second year the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita has presented the Red Dress Campaign at many locations around the city. The club received coverage at a City Council meeting, local television coverage, local press coverage in addition to the radio station.

Zonta Club of Mangawhai spreads awareness of violence against women with orange ‘knit bomb’

The  Zonta Club of Mangawhai, New Zealand, has been holding knitting bees weekly over the last few months in preparation for their “knit-bomb” of a large prominent oak tree located in the center of Mangawhai Village.

On the evening of 25 November, the start of the 16 Days of Activism, members braved the rain and gathered to wrap, stitch, climb, stretch and decorate the tree to the delight and curiosity of local residents. The tree remained wrapped for the 16 days of activism and was featured in the local newspaper.

The following morning, the club hosted an advocacy stall at the village market. Along with their orange dolls, members distributed orange ribbons and Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women bookmarks with all proceeds earmarked for Women’s Refuge.

To continue the 16 Days of Activism, the club’s orange dolls provided static displays in the local library, museum, chemist and op shop, and they posted Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women messages with appropriate statistics on Facebook.

Reaction at the local market on Saturday morning was overwhelmingly positive and members manned an advocacy stall displaying the club’s orange dolls, offering information and support to anyone in the community. The club is delighted with the visibility and impact of their initiative, and the support from their local community.

 

Zonta Club Kathmandu distributes badges, translates booklet

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The Zonta Club Kathmandu, Nepal, organized a series of programs to reach out to the community with information about violence against women. To raise awareness about the issue, the club distributed a badge on 18 November in the presence of elected member at CEDAW and Strategic Director of Saathi Bandana Rana, Miss Nepal 2016 Asmi Shrestha, Chari Maya Tamang and assistant dean and Faculty of law of Tribhuvan University and member of Supreme Court Bar Association Sashi Adhikari. The badges were worn by supporters, including men and women of all ages to show solidarity during the 16 Days of Activism.

Supporters from various organizations wore the badge to show their solidarity to the cause. The organizations ranged from banks, corporate houses, clinics, beauty clinics to other non-government organizations.

On 5 December the club, along with UN Women and National Information Commission, a government body, launched the English booklet “Information Related to Women’s Entitlements” as part of the 16 Days of Activism. The club supported the printing of the English version realizing the significance of it reaching out to a wider network.

From 25 November through 10 December, the Zonta Club Kathmandu has been posting relevant details on the Right to Information based on the booklet.

Zonta Club of Buffalo, Fort Erie Area, Kenmore light up bridge connecting US and Canada orange

zonta-club-of-buffaloMembers of the Zonta Clubs of Buffalo and Fort Erie Area were joined by members of the Zonta Club of Kenmore to commemorate the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women and 16 Days of Activism with the lighting of the Peace Bridge near Buffalo, New York, USA, and Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.

The group of Zontians braved cold, blustery winds to advocate against gender-based violence with the bridge, joining the U.S. and Canada, aglow in orange lights in the background.

Zonta Club of New Territories teams up with other Zonta clubs, Z club, Golden Z club to distribute thousands of wristbands

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The Zonta Club of the New Territories, Hong Kong, teamed up with other Hong Kong clubs to distribute thousands of Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women wristbands to high school and college students throughout November and December. The Z Club of Heep Yunn School and Golden Z Club of Sacred Heart Canossian College helped distribute the wristbands.

Additionally, the Zonta Club of the New Territories, along with the Golden Z Club of Chinese University, advocated for the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign after the Legislative Council debate.

Zonta Club of London II provides goods for gender-based violence survivors

The club also organized a project in which it collected 11 hampers for the 11 beds between Daria House and Emma Project, programs of Nia Ending Violence. The hampers include 11 gifts, which will be presented to the women on Christmas Day. Though they will spend the day safe and cared for, they will away from their families.

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At its November meeting, the Zonta Club of London II hosted Heather Harvey from Nia Ending Violence, an organization that delivers cutting-edge services to end violence against women and children. Harvey spoke about the history off feminist-centered refuges in the U.K. that started in the 1970s and were the first of their kind in the world.

In addition to the hampers for Nia Ending Violence, the club packed 77 care packs for Hestia Refuge, in cooperation with the Elk Bar and Kiwis in London.

Along with enthusiastic club members who attended the packing party, somw Kiwi and Aussie girls also helped. Each package contained soap, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.

Zonta Club of Frankfurt II Rhein-Main raises money at ‘Emancipation within Islam’ event

zonta-club-frankfurt-ii-rhein-mainOn 14 Nov, the Zonta Club of Frankfurt II Rhein-Main organized an advocacy event at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management on the topic, “Emancipation within Islam.”

This is also the title of a book by Moroccan-German author Sineb El Masrar, which focuses primarily on the situation of Muslim women in Arab countries, but also in Germany today.

El Masrar presented major arguments from her book which were then taken up by a panel of experts from sociology, politics as well as practical social work. The audience of more than 180 followed a lively and often controversial discussion. The club received enough donations so they could contribute 4000 Euros to educational scholarships for young German-Muslim women.

Zonta Club of Southern Ocean County receive Proclamation of Domestic Violence Awareness, impact community during 16 Days of Activism

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Zonta Club of Southern Ocean County President Debbie Casale and member Diane Gorgy receive a proclamation of Domestic Violence Awareness from Tuckerton Mayor Sue Marshall (right). (Photo: The SandPaper)

In October, the Zonta Club of of Southern Ocean County, New Jersey, received proclamations from two local towns, Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor, at their respective Township Committee Meetings recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Tuckerton Mayor Sue Marshall, who presented the proclamation to Club President Debbie Casale, is also a  Zontian and club board member.

Lisa Stevens, the Township Committee member who presented the Little Egg Harbor proclamation to Debbie, is a former Zontian and is now the vice president of the non-profit organization, HEAAT (Help Educate & Advocate Against Human Trafficking).

At the club’s  November meeting, the members assembled “first night kits,” for donation to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission.  These kits contain a variety of personal care items, including toothpaste, a toothbrush, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, a comb, ear swabs and feminine care products. Many of the women staying at the rescue mission are victims of domestic violence, and the kits are greatly appreciated.

Additionally, on 29 November 13 “cuddle kits” were assembled for children of families staying at the mission. Each cuddle kit contains a hand-crocheted or handmade blanket, age-appropriate books, stuffed animals and mittens/hats.

The final activity, “An Evening of Fun With Friends,” was a fundraiser held on 9 December at a local restaurant called Calloway’s. Money raised from this event benefits HEAAT, which  does everything from lobbying for stricter laws against human trafficking to reuniting young victims with their families. Zonta and HEAAT literature was provided for the guests of the fundraiser, and many potential new Zonta recruits were identified.