Zonta and the Council of Europe (CoE)

The Council of Europe is Europe’s leading inter-governmental human rights organization working with its 47 member states to strengthen human rights, democracy and the rule of law. 


Zonta International (ZI) has been represented at the Council of Europe (CoE) since 1983 and is one of the 320 international nongovernmental organizations enjoying participatory status at the Conference of INGOs, the body representing civil society in the CoE. 


As part of the Conference, the ZI CoE Committee contributes to the work of the inter-governmental committees, to the elaboration process of treaties and policy lines and to action plans of the thematic committees by focusing on the aspects of gender mainstreaming being observed in all areas. 

The ZI CoE Committee’s priority is to train Zonta members around the world on Zonta’s strong position at the CoE and to promote relevant instruments and treaties as tools for members, clubs and districts to advocate knowledgeably and effectively for the rights of women and girls.


The committee also highlights instruments like the Istanbul Convention (CoE Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence) and the Anti-Trafficking Convention (CoE Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings), which are also accessible by non-European countries, underlines the global dimension and relevance of the CoE and makes up concrete advocacy tools for the Zonta Says NO to Violence against Women campaign.

Read more key facts on the CoE.

Meet the Committee


Anita Schnetzer-Spranger
Zonta Club of Mainz, Germany

Irma Ertman
Zonta Club of Helsinki II, Finland

Tuija Hannele Heikkilä
Zonta Club of Tampere I, Finland

Karin Nordmeyer
Zonta Club of Freiburg-Schauinsland, Germany