On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Zonta International recommits to ending gender-based violence.
The United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 17 December 1999. Zonta honors and recognizes this day by kicking off its Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign, which will conclude on 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The campaign, which began in November 2012, features the service and advocacy actions of Zonta clubs and districts to prevent and end violence against women and girls in their local communities. These actions will be posted on the Zonta Says NO campaign webpage and official social media pages.
Violence against women is a global pandemic. For the next two years, Zonta International has committed US$2 million to the Zonta International Strategies to End Violence Against Women (ZISVAW) fund, to fund two projects focused on ending gender-based violence in Nepal and Niger.
Nepal has long been a country of origin for labor migration and trafficking in persons, particularly women and children, for the purposes of sexual, labor and other forms of exploitation. Partnering with UN Women, Zonta International is helping create sustainable foundations for addressing the relationship between human trafficking and foreign labor migration of women and girls in Nepal.
During the two-year project, UN Women will directly help 600 survivors of trafficking and vulnerable women migrants, and indirectly reach 100,000 young people, community leaders, local authorities, camp coordinators, schools, families of migrants and members of networks from earthquake-affected districts.
Niger has the highest child marriage rate in the world with 77 percent of girls married by the age of 18 and 30 percent married by age 15. Forty-two percent of adolescent girls give birth before the age of 17.
Child marriage is a form of sexual and gender-based violence with detrimental physical, social and economic effects. In partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Zonta is working to reduce early marriage and early pregnancy in a critical mass of communities in Niger through a program that provides health education, formal education including literacy training, and essential life skills, knowledge and resources. Zonta started supporting this project in 2014, and this biennium, we are covering the participation of approximately 11,000 adolescents.