Early on in Zonta’s Centennial Anniversary Biennium, the idea was born to organize seminars on an issue of great importance to Zonta: child marriage, a crime largely affecting girls. Zonta will invest the biggest sum ever in a single biennium to ending this specific form of violence that has tremendous negative effects on societies. Ingeborg Geyer, Zonta International United Nations (UN) Committee Chair, conceived of a unique conference in Vienna. The organizational committee also included Margot Fleck, Zonta District 14 Foundation Ambassador, Claudia Exenberger, President of Golden Z Club Vienna and Zonta International UN Committee member, as well as Gertrude Wanivenhaus, Conference Chair. The four were greatly supported by the Zonta Club Wien.
The committee chose as the location the Diplomatische Akademie Wien, a center of excellence for the study of international affairs. The Vienna School of International Studies is the oldest professional school in the world, having launched talented men and women into international careers and positions of leadership over the course of more than two centuries. The activities as a professional school are complemented by first-rate research, world-renowned executive training programs and its function as a hub for public lectures and debates. With the number of persons related, affiliated and working with the Vienna School of International Studies totaling more than 4,000, the Zonta International Seminar could benefit from this reach.
Read the full report "Forced and Early Marriage: A Severe Human Rights Violation Repor" by Barbara Devin, Adviser, Zonta International United Nations Committee, Vienna, below.