Our Programs

Young Women in Public Affairs Award

Award description

Though about 40% of the world’s workforce is women, according to data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, only 25.7% of all national parliamentarians were female as of 1 September 2021. Because Zonta International believes that young women are the key to women’s advancement in the field of public service, it offers the Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award, which recognizes young women, ages 16-19, for demonstrating leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes, and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.

Established in 1990 by Past International President Leneen Forde, Zonta has given 1,091 awards, US$1,488,750, to 919 young women from 61 countries.

The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta International offers 37 international awards of US$5,000. Each district/region may submit one applicant for consideration for an international scholarship. The five largest districts may submit a second applicant for a total of two applicants. 

Applications for the 2024 Young Women in Public Affairs Awards have closed.

Application Process and Deadline

The application process must start with a Zonta club. All application materials must be received at a Zonta club by the deadline printed on the application. If you downloaded the application from the Zonta International website, you must contact a Zonta club for deadline information. If the Zonta club contact information is not printed on the application, please locate the Zonta club nearest you by using the Club Locator, or email your name and contact information to Zonta International Headquarters at [email protected].

Applicants from geographic areas within a Zonta district/region where no clubs are located will be considered and are eligible to apply for the international scholarships via a Zonta district/region. 


Women, aged 16-19 on 1 April each year, studying at a secondary school, college or university in a Zonta district/region, or who are studying elsewhere but are citizens of a Zonta country, who demonstrate evidence of the following, are eligible to apply. 

  • Active commitment to volunteerism.
  • Experience in local government, student government, or workplace leadership (paid or unpaid).
  • Volunteer leadership achievements.
  • Knowledge of Zonta International and its programs.
  • Support in Zonta International's mission of building a better world for women and girls.

Applicants from geographic areas within a Zonta district/region where no clubs are located may apply via a Zonta e-club or directly to the district to be eligible for the international awards. Previous district and international Young Women in Public Affairs Award recipients are not eligible to apply to renew the Award for a second year.

Club members and individuals with direct membership with Zonta International and employees of Zonta International and Zonta Foundation for Women, and their family members (ancestors, descendants, adoptees, siblings, nieces or cousins, and those of their spouse or co-habiting partner), are not eligible to apply for the Awards.

Z and Golden Z club members are also eligible to apply. 


Young Women in Public Affairs Awards are made possible by generous contributions to the Zonta Foundation for Women Young Women in Public Affairs Award Fund from Zontians, Zonta clubs and friends of Zonta International.


2023 YWPA Awardees | PDF

2023 YWPA Awardees' Bios | PDF

International Recipients

District 1, Morgan Casey, USA
District 2, Allison Davis, USA
District 3, Aparna Parthasarathy, USA
District 4, Trisha Kotakonda, Canada
District 5, Emi Kawamura, USA
District 6, Catherine Tang, USA
District 7, Wendo Kimori, USA
District 8, Pauline Ngigi, USA
District 9, Jolina Le, USA
District 10, Araceli Coker, USA
District 11, Ella Paligo, USA
District 12, Sophia Gomelsky, USA
District 13, Emilie Schmidt-Lund, Denmark
District 14, Selin Tegethoff, Germany
District15, Samantha Karoub, USA
District 16, Wei Tian Teo, New Zealand
District 17, Rysa Antonette Ang, Philippines
District 17, Chinnicha Boonyoo, Thailand
District 18, Tia Bhatia, Ghana
Region South America, Sofia Baquet, Uruguay
District 20, Iris Ots, Finland
District 21, Kristina Jamil, Sweden
District 21, Thea Staxhammar, Sweden
District 22, Charlotte Gillies, Australia
District 23, Phoebe Bourke, Australia
District 24, Emily An, Australia
District 25,Yumna Zaheed, Sri Lanka
District 26, Riko Kubo, Japan
District 27, Hannah Back, Germany and Luxembourg
District 27, Zakia Karwar, Afghanistan
District 28, Mita Hollingshaus, Germany
District 29, Emiko L'Estrange, United Kingdom
District 29, Pauline Ziegler, Germany
District 30, Carlotta Faina, Italy
District 30, Inès Roda, France
District 31, Yu-Ching Tsai, Taiwan, R.O.C.
District 32, Setbeul An, South Korea


If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

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