In 1995, when the Beijing Platform for Action was adopted, the global average proportion of women in parliament was just 11 percent. Today, women hold 22.7 percent of seats in the world’s national parliaments as of 1 June 2016. Although this figure has doubled in the last 21 years, many barriers remain to women’s political participation and gender parity in political representation across the globe. Recognizing that to bring about sustainable changes that benefit all of humanity, women must have equal participation in the decision-making process, Zonta International established the Young Women in Public Affairs Award in 1990.
The Award recognizes young women, ages 16-19, who demonstrate superior leadership skills and a commitment to public service and civic causes, and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life. For a full list of the eligibility and application requirements, please refer to the application. Ten (10) international scholarships of US$4,000 each and up to 32 district/region scholarships of US$1,000 each are awarded each year. Applications must be submitted through a Zonta club. To learn more, please contact a Zonta club near you.
Since the program's inception, Zonta has given 804 awards (includes international awards), totaling US$764,750, to 692 young women representing 54 countries.
These awards are made possible through generous donations to the Zonta International Foundation.