President's Corner

Zonta International adds its voice to empower girls on International Day of the Girl

11 October 2017

Zonta International adds its voice to empower girls on International Day of the Girl

Today, Zonta International enthusiastically celebrates the International Day of the Girl, established in 2011 to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

This year’s theme is “EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises.”

“The world’s 1.1 billion girls are a source of power, energy, and creativity – and the millions of girls in emergencies are no exception,” explains the United Nations. “This year’s International Day of the Girl (IDG) on October 11 marks the beginning of a year-long effort to spur global attention and action to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during, and after crises.”

This year, IDG is more than just a day; it marks the start of a year-long effort to bring together partners to advocate for and draw attention to the needs of girls in emergencies.

Zonta International recognizes the importance of supporting and investing in girls in order to achieve gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals. All of our international service projects, Zonta International Strategies to End Violence Against Women and education projects are aimed at empowering women and girls and expanding their access to education, health care, economic opportunities and safe living conditions.

Our project in Madagascar in partnership with UNICEF USA is the nation’s only program addressing issues of gender parity in education following a four-year-long political crisis. In Nepal, women and girls face a heightened risk of human trafficking and unsafe migration in the aftermath of the April and May 2015 earthquakes, and Zonta International is partnering with UN Women to prevent and respond to trafficking there.

Zonta also partners with UNFPA to reduce early marriage and early pregnancy in Niger and recognizes young women, ages 16 – 19, for demonstrating leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes with the Zonta International Young Women in Public Affairs Award.

One of the most prominent ways Zonta advocates for women and girls is through our Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign, which runs annually from 25 November through December 10, alongside the 16 Days of Activism.

Additionally, Zonta has a reputation as a strong and reliable partner in empowering women and girls and we are continuing to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through active participation in the process, sharing knowledge, and supporting service and advocacy projects that empower women and girls.

Please join us in lifting our voice to empower girls, today and always.




Susanne von Bassewitz is the 2018-2020 President of Zonta International and the Zonta International Foundation.

»Read her biography.