With great sadness, Zonta International shares that Simone Ovart, Past Zonta International Director, Past District 30 Governor and long-time member of the Zonta International United Nations Committee, passed away on Wednesday, 9 January 2019.
Simone joined the Zonta Club of Pinerolo, Italy in 1989. She quickly became an active member, serving as club president from 1992-1994, and later as area director, lt. governor and governor of District 30. As District 30 Governor, Simone oversaw the chartering of 12 new Zonta clubs and the addition of one new country with the chartering of the first Zonta club in Macedonia.
At the international level, Simone was a member of the International ZISVAW Committee from 2000-2002, served as International Director from 2004-2006 and was a member of the Zonta International United Nations Committee from 2006 until her passing. As Zonta International’s main representative in Geneva and President of the NGO CSW Geneva, Simone was a pillar of the NGO community in Geneva and organized various high-level events on migration, the gender pay gap and other issues.
While Simone made numerous contributions to Zonta International, many Zontians will most remember her for her role as the 2012 Zonta International Convention Chair in Torino, Italy, where she warmly welcomed all Zontians with her signature energy and enthusiasm. Simone was well recognized in and outside Zonta for her efforts. On 7 January 2016, Simone received the flag of the Italian State from the Italian authorities in recognition of her work on behalf of Zonta International.
Outside of Zonta, Simone was very active in a number of other organizations. She created the National Committee for UNIFEM in Italy in 2004 and served as its president from 2004 to 2010. When UNIFEM and three other organizations combined to form UN Women in 2010, Simone established the National Committee for UN Women in Italy and went on to serve as its president until December 2017.
With Simone’s passing, the Zonta community lost a passionate and dedicated Zontian who contributed greatly to Zonta’s success through her various leadership roles over the last 30 years. She was an inspiration to many members and truly made a difference for many women in the world. She will continue to have a place in our hearts. Our thoughts are with her husband and family.