"It is truly an honor to be a YWPA International winner. The YWPA scholarship will allow me to fulfill my dream of becoming a physician as I begin my academic journey as a student at Brown University and Brown Medical School through their Program of Liberal Medical Education." 

~ Soumiri Barua, District 4, YWPA Award Recipient, 2013

The progress of women in the last century has dramatically increased the opportunities available to women, yet women's participation in positions of public influence continues to lag behind. Although women account for nearly 50 percent of the workforce, they hold on average just 22.3 percent of seats in the world's national parliaments as of 1 August 2015, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Zonta International believes young women are the key to women's advancement in the field of public service. The Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Awards program recognizes young women for their demonstrated leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.

Since the program's inception, Zonta has given 763 awards (includes international awards) totaling US$693,750 to 661 young women from 53 countries.

List of Recipients' Schools/Institutes by Country | pdf 


Established in 1990 by Past International President Leneen Forde, the Young Women in Public Affairs Award honors young women, ages 16-19, who demonstrate a commitment to leadership in public policy, government and volunteer organizations. The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta clubs provide awards for club recipients, and district/region and international awards are funded by the Zonta International Foundation. District recipients receive US$1,000, and 10 international recipients are selected from the district/region recipients to receive awards of US$4,000 each.

Women, ages 16-19 on 1 April each year, living in a Zonta district/region, or a citizen of a Zonta country, who demonstrate evidence of the following, are eligible to apply. Note that applicants from geographic areas within a Zonta district/region where no clubs are located will be considered and also eligible to apply for the district/region Award.  Z and Golden Z club members are also eligible to apply. Classified members and employees of Zonta International and Zonta International Foundation, and their family members, are not eligible to apply for the Awards.

  • Active commitment to volunteerism.
  • Experience in local government, student government, or workplace leadership (paid or unpaid).
  • Volunteer leadership achievements.
  • Knowledge of Zonta International and its programs.
  • Support in Zonta International's mission of empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

The application must start with a Zonta club. All application materials must be received at a Zonta club by the printed deadline. Zonta clubs select one application to send to the district governor/region representative. A district/region evaluating committee reviews the applications and selects one applicant per district/region to submit to Zonta International Headquarters. The Zonta International YWPA Award Committee recommends ten international recipients from the district/region applications to the Zonta International Board. After approval by the Zonta International Board, the Zonta International Foundation provides awards and certificates to the district/region, and international recipients. >>Locate a Zonta Club Near You

Applications for the 2016 Young Women in Public Affairs Award must be received by the assigned deadline that is declared by the applicant's local Zonta club. The 2016 recipients will be chosen by 1 July 2016.

Young Women in Public Affairs Awards are made possible through generous contributions from Zontians, Zonta Clubs and friends of Zonta.



Related Information
> 2016 Application 
> 2016 Poster | pdf | A4 format  
> 2016 certificate | pdf  
> 2015 Recipients
> 2015 International Recipients' Bios
> Awards Tools

Please contact your local club for application deadline