Zonta International is a human rights organisation. Our club works at a local, district and international level to end violence against women and empower women and girls worldwide through activities such as the Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women advocacy campaign, service projects and awards.
Zonta International is associated with the United Nations and has representation on many UN committees including the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Through the Zonta International Strategies to Prevent Violence Against Women (ZISVAW) program, we are dedicated to preventing violence against women through service, education, awareness and advocacy.
A proportion of funds raised by clubs around the world is used to finance ZISVAW and other International Service Projects that are selected by the membership at International Conventions held once every two years.
Zonta International’s Service projects for the 2016-2018 biennium include working with UN agencies to:
- Eliminate Obstetric Fistula and Reduce Maternal and Newborn Mortality in Liberia—with the UNFPA
- Let us Learn Madagascar will create opportunities for vulnerable and excluded girls to realise their rights to an education in a secure and protective environment—with UNICEF
ZISVAW Service projects for 2016-2018 include:
- Delaying early marriage of Adolescent Girls in Niger —with UNFPA
- Addressing human trafficking and unsafe migration in Nepal—with UN Women.
Zonta International’s awards for women include:
- Amelia Earhart Fellowships for post graduate students in aerospace related sciences and engineering;
- Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarships for women studying a business related degree; and
- Young Women in Public Affairs Awards for high school students to encourage them to enter careers in public affairs, public policy and positions of leadership.
For administrative purposes, Zonta International has created 32 Districts. Western Australia is part of District 23 that also includes Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. Each District is divided into Areas. The Zonta Club of Perth is in Area 3, which includes the seven clubs in Western Australia: Perth, Perth Northern Suburbs, Swan Hills, Bunbury, Peel (Mandurah), Dunsborough and the Golden Z Club at St Catherine’s College, University of Western Australia.
Our club actively supports two District 23 service projects:
- Birthing Kits Project: a woman dies in childbirth every 90 seconds somewhere in the world due to giving birth in an unclean environment. Birthing kits are assembled by clubs and partner organisations and used by birthing assistants in developing countries. Kits include a plastic sheet, soap, cord, gauze squares, scalpel blade and surgical gloves. The project is administered through the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia). Over 1.25 million kits have been sent to developing countries and training is also provided to eliminate female circumcision and improve health.
- Breast Care Cushions Project: these are used by women (and men) around Australia recovering from breast surgery. The cushions provide physical support and let recipients know that other people are thinking of them.
The Zonta Club of Perth actively raises funds so it may support International and District programs and also support local women through our own Club’s service projects, advocacy activities and awards.
Local Service projects include:
- Ishar: providing support and friendship to refugee and migrant women, who are victims of domestic violence;
- Zonta House Refuge: providing financial and professional support, toiletries, clothes and furniture to help women rebuild their lives;
- Zonta House Refuge’s Positive Pathways program providing lifeskills training for vulnerable women;
- Starting Over Support that provides household items for families in crisis to help them rebuild their lives; and
- Zonta Holidays: providing holidays for needy families so they can have quality time together.
Advocacy activities include:
- Raising awareness and improving understanding through our Cultural Awareness Days
- Supporting initiatives to make the 10th September International Gynaecological Awareness Day
- Supporting the WA International Women’s Day (IWD) Collaboration of women’s service organisations to administer the WA Women’s Hall of Fame and other IWD activities including the UN Women’s IWD Breakfast.
- Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship – District 23 Area 3 scholarship – for a young woman studying business at a WA University
- University Education Award for a mature aged second year university student;
- Woman of Achievement Award to recognize a quiet achiever in the community;
- Young Woman of Public Affairs Award to encourage young women to consider careers in public policy;
- Yvonne Burgu Scholarship to encourage an Aboriginal woman studying in WA to complete her first university degree or TAFE college diploma.
2017 Award Winners:
District 23 Area 3, Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship: Emmelyn Wu
Zonta Club of Perth Yvonne Burgu Scholarship: Denise Colbung
Zonta Club of Perth Education Award: Tracey Fickling and Sharon Turner
Zonta Club of Perth Young Woman of Public Affairs Award: Emily Hardbottle