Though about 40 percent of the world’s workforce is women, according to data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, only 24.9% of all national parliamentarians were female as of 1 January 2020. 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 971 awards, US$1,109,250, to 819 young women from 58 countries.
The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta clubs provide awards for club recipients, and district/region and international awards are funded by the Zonta International Foundation. District recipients receive US$1,500, and 10 international recipients are selected from the district/region recipients to receive awards of US$5,000 each.
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 empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
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 district/region and international awards. Z and Golden Z club members are also eligible to apply. Classified members (club members and individuals with direct membership with Zonta International) and employees of Zonta International and Zonta International Foundation, 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. Previous International Young Women in Public Affairs Award recipients are not eligible to apply.
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. Please locate the Zonta club nearest you using the Club Locator or email your name and contact information to Zonta International Headquarters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zonta clubs each select one application to send to the Zonta district/region. A district/region evaluating committee reviews the applications and selects one applicant per district/region to submit to Zonta International Headquarters. The Zonta International YWPA Committee recommends 10 international recipients from the district/region applications to the Zonta International Board. After approval by the Zonta International Board, the Zonta International Foundation provides awards and certificates to the district/region and international recipients.
Applications must be completed and presented to Zonta clubs according to the club's assigned deadline. A club recipient is selected, and the application is presented to the governor/regional representative by 1 April. The district/region recipient is selected, and the application is presented to Zonta International Headquarters by 1 May. The 2021 recipients will be announced by 1 July 2021.
YWPA Awards are made possible by generous contributions to the Zonta International Foundation Young Women in Public Affairs Award Fund.
2020 YWPA Awardees | PDF
Daria Nastasia, United States, District 7
Guadalupe Roman, United States, District 10
Kennedy Walls, United States, District 11
E Wen Wong, New Zealand, District 16
Leung Ka Chi, United States, District 17
Juanita Alabi, Ghana, District 18
Peoly Gunaratne, Australia, District 24
Dipisha Bhujel, Nepal, District 25
Emma Lehbib, Germany, District 27
Anaika Chopra, United Kingdom, District 29
Isobel Cameron, Canada, District 1
Ava Szollosy, Canada, District 2
Anna Given, United States, District 3
Sarah Rolling, United States, District 4
Saichidroopi Korada, United States, District 5
Elizabeth Wong, United States, District 6
Haidyn Hall, United States, District 8
Freya Abraham, United States, District 9
Danika Gordon, United States, District 12
Embla Blöndal Ásgeirsdóttir, Iceland, District 13
Leonarda Smigmator, Croatia, District 14
Hannah Johnston, United States, District 15
Kaari Pulst, Estonia, District 20
Linnea Svensson Rotberg, United States and Sweden, District 21
Faith Roche, Australia, District 22
Britney Pham, Australia, District 23
Sanae Goto, Japan, District 26
Elena Schmid, Switzerland, District 28
Pauline Becker, Germany, District 30
Ying Chi Huang, Taiwan (ROC), District 31
Seo Yoon Lim, South Korea, District 32
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