Zonta International committed to gender equity and achieving a culture of peace on International Day of Peace 2020

On International Day of Peace, Zonta International commits to seeking peace above all differences and to contributing to build a culture of peace.

This year, as the world collectively faces a pandemic, it has never been more clear that we are not one another's enemies. COVID-19, which threatens our health, security and our way of life, has thrust the world into chaos and has reminded us that people everywhere can be affected by what happens in one section of the globe. 

The 2020 theme for International Day of Peace is "Shaping Peace Together." The United Nations is asking organizations to celebrate the day "by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic" and asking people to "stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred."

Historically, gender-based violence (GBV) increases during every type of emergency. According to the United Nations Development Programme, "Pre-existing toxic social norms and gender inequalities, economic and social stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, have led to an exponential increase in GBV."

"While it is true that we must work together to defeat the COVID-19 virus, we must also work together to achieve peace," said Zonta International President Sharon Langenbeck. "Zonta International is not only dedicated to securing equal rights for all, we are also committed to a peaceful world."

As we are forced to be physically distant, the UN says this International Day of Peace will "be dedicated to fostering dialogue and collecting ideas. The world will be invited to unite and share thoughts on how to weather this storm, heal our planet and change it for the better."

Each of Zonta International's education programs and international service projects is dedicated to changing the world for women and girls and achieving gender equity. The world will not fully realize peace until we accomplish Sustainable Development Goal 5—Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Zonta International invites all of its members and supporters to use the hashtag #peaceday on social media to join us and the UN in the conversation about how we can shape peace together.

21 September 2020