Advancing the Status of Women Worldwide

July 15, 2008

Zonta International began in Buffalo, New York, in 1919 with five women.  Today, Zonta has more than 33,000 members in over 1200 clubs in 67 countries and geographic areas.  The headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois.

Zonta Club of Fort Smith was chartered April 24, 1967.  In its forty-seven year history, Zonta Club of Fort Smith has supported projects that advance the status of women both locally and internationally.

HORIZONTAL_Fort_Smith

Zonta Club of Fort Smith meets at 6:00 P.M. the second Monday of the month at the main Fort Smith Public Library’s community room. 

Contact President Judi Hansen at judi_hansen7759@yahoo.com for additional information

Twitter: FSZonta

Facebook:  Zonta Club of Fort Smith

Email:  zontafortsmith@aol.com

16_days_logo_english                               Zonta Says No square

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University in 1991.  Since that time the Campaign has seen over 5,167 organizations in 187 countries participate. The sixteen days run from November 25 through December 10.

November 25:  International Day For the Elimination of Violence Against Women

 November 25th was declared International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women  to commemorate the violent assassination of the Mirabal sisters (Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa) on November 25, 1960, by the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic.  In 1999, the United Nations officially recognized November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Remember to wear your orange on the 25th of each month to increase awareness of violence against women.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence—share the message!

Day 2:  November 26

From WHO:  According to a 2013 global review of available data, 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.  However, some national violence studies show that up to 70 percent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime from an intimate partner.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days

Day 3:  November 27

International Violence Against Women Act

From Amnesty International:   Violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses and a global epidemic. It knows no national or cultural barriers and affects millions of women and girls in peacetime and conflict. It includes physical, sexual and psychological violence, and harmful practices such as rape, “honor killings,” female genital cutting, and human trafficking.

Violence against women and girls destabilizes countries, impedes economic progress, and prevents women from raising healthy children, contributing to the household and their community, and creating better lives for themselves and their families.

The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) would permanently integrate gender-based violence prevention and response into all U.S. government programming overseas operates.

I-VAWA will help turn the one-in-three to none-in-three by making ending violence against women and girls a diplomatic and foreign assistance priority for the United States.

Advocacy Action: Contact your Senators now and urge support of I-VAWA. The Act was sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in May 2014. As of November 2014 thirty Senators have signed on as a co-sponsor of S.2307.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days

Day 4:  November 28

ZISVAW- ZONTA INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIES TO END VIOLENCE

AGAINST WOMEN PROGRAM

From Zonta International – www.zonta.org

Globally, gender-based violence is the most pervasive and least recognized human rights violation. Rooted in inequality, it affects women of every race, class, culture, ethnicity, age and country. Zonta International strives to promote and protect the human rights of all women and girls and reduce the incidence of violence through the Zonta International Strategies to End Violence Against Women (ZISVAW) Program by:

  • Supporting prevention and advocacy strategies locally and internationally.
  • Awarding grants to United Nations agencies or recognized NGOs for projects that seek to change personal and/or political knowledge, attitudes and behavior contributing to gender-based violence.
  • Increasing awareness and actions related to preventing violence against women by encouraging Zonta club involvement in local and national advocacy initiatives and service projects.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

Since the program’s inception in 1999, more than US$3.5 million has been provided to support 43 projects in 33 countries.  #zontasaysno #16days

Day 5:  November 29

International Women Human Rights Defenders Day

This day recognizes women human rights defenders and commemorates activism, advocacy and courageous acts of resistance.

One focus of this year’s 16 Days of Activism is Violence Perpetrated by State Actors.

Despite the principle requiring State responsibility to respect, protect, and promote human rights, State and non-State actors use violence and the threat of violence to achieve social, economic, and political control.  Frequently, this violence specifically targets women, and in particular, human rights defenders (WHRDs). WHRDs are targets who face physical and sexual violence because of who they are and what they do.  These State Actors often act with impunity.

Strengthening and supporting the work of Women Human Rights Defenders and demanding accountability from State and non-State perpetrators of violence is of utmost importance.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days

Day 6:  November 30

Delaying Early Marriage

Partnering with UNFPA, Zonta International has selected as one of its ZISVAW projects for the 2014-16 biennium delaying early marriage in Niger.  ZI has designated $1,000,000 toward funding this project. Globally, 64 million girls are child brides.

Niger has the highest child marriage prevalence in the world with 75 % of girls married by age 18 and 36% by age 15. A majority of married girls have been pregnant or have had children by the age of 19.

Early marriage is a form of sexual and gender-based violence with detrimental physical, social and economic effects.

This project is part of a five year (2013-17) global UNFPA Adolescent Girls Initiative.

Goals:  to improve health of adolescent girls, to ensure their access to educational opportunities, to protect them from violence, and to encourage their leadership by providing access to mentors and women leaders.

If you would like to support this project, you may contribute at www.zonta.org.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days

Day 7:  December 1

World AIDS DAY

From UNAIDS:

Women are two to four times more likely than men to become infected with HIV during intercourse.  Forced sex or rape increases this risk by limiting condom use and causing physical injury.

From “Is Intimate Partner Violence Associated with HIV infection among Women in the United States?” published in General Hospital Psychiatry:

In the United States, 11.8 per cent of new HIV infections among women more than 20 years old during 2008 were attributed to intimate partner violence.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days

 Day 8:  December 2

From NOW:

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a horrendous, excruciating, and life-threatening practice forced upon women and girls around the world, including countries such as Canada and the United States.

The procedure is customary in several cultures, and is perpetuated by a mixture of cultural, social, and religious beliefs.  These procedures vary, but in some communities a variety of crude instruments are used, including knives, broken glass, and sharp stones.   The use of non-surgical instruments greatly increases the risk of complications because of infection.  This inhumane practice must be stopped in the United States and around the world.

From WHO:

Approximately 140 million girls and women in the world have suffered female genital mutilation/cutting.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days

 Day 9:  December 3

Campus Sexual Assault Statistics

  • Nineteen percent of women in college and six percent of men in college will be victims of attempted or completed sexual assault in the course of their undergraduate careers, according to a 2007 study funded by the National Institute of Justice.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, college campuses reported nearly 5,000 forcible sex offenses to the U.S. Department of Education in 2012 alone, the most recent year for which data is available. In that time, there were 365 forcible sex offenses reported by campuses in New York State, of which 72 were in New York City.

In April, a White House task force announced recommendations for helping colleges and universities respond to the problem, issuing new guidance and launching a new website. Within days, the Education Department released for the first time a list of every college and university currently under investigation for possible violations of federal law because of the way they have handled campus sexual assaults; so far, that list comprises more than 70 schools.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno  #16days

Day 10:  December 4

Human Trafficking

From UN Women:

Trafficking ensnares millions of women and girls in modern-day slavery.  Women and girls represent 55 per cent of the estimated 20.9 million victims of forced labor worldwide, and 98 per cent of the estimated 4.5 million forced into sexual exploitation.

Hotline number:  1-888-373-7888

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days

Day 11:  December 5

Small Arms and Intimate Partner Violence

From Center for Women’s Global Leadership Rutgers

A second priority focus of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is the proliferation of small arms, such as guns.  The presence of small arms increases the risk of murder by 41%, but in domestic and intimate partner violence the risk becomes even greater at 272%.

Experts estimate that approximately 900 million small arms are in the global market.  Women are three to four times more likely to be victims of threats and deaths compared to men.

Focused implementation of prevention, protection, justice and service for survivors is needed to help curb these rates of violence.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days

Day 12:  December 6

Sexual Violence and Conflict

From Center for Women’s Global Leadership Rutgers

The third focus on this year’s 16 Days Campaign addresses sexual violence during and after conflict. Various forms of sexual violence are violations of human rights and human dignity and are used to fuel conflict between ethnic and ideological groups and by international power holders as the basis of interventions and occupations.

From UN Women:

Rape has been a rampant tactic in modern wars.  Conservative estimates suggest that 20,000 to 50,000 women were raped during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while approximately 250,000 to 500,000 women and girls were targeted in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Suggested Actions by CWGL:

  • Build international awareness
  • Encourage policymakers to address the crime of sexual violence in conflict as a priority
  • Work with men and boys who believe in gender equality to end gender-based violence in conflict

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days

Day 13:  December 7

Voices Against Violence

Zonta International has selected a second ZISVAW (Zonta International Strategies Against Violence Against Women) for the 2014-16 biennium.

Voices Against Violence joins Zonta’s efforts with those of UN Women in supporting non-formal education curriculum for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts on ending violence against women and girls.

From Zonta International:

As a part of this program, a curriculum has been developed for age groups 5-25 years in English, French, and Spanish.  The curriculum will provide knowledge on the issue of violence against women and girls, facilitate learning and awareness-raising among the participants as peer educators and advocates.  It will encourage young people to identify various forms of violence against women and girls, understand root causes of such violence, and learn what their rights are and what services exist to support survivors.

Members of girl guiding/girl scouting movement can earn a “badge” by completing six sessions from a set of age-appropriate activities.  In 2014-16 12 countries (including the United States) will begin this curriculum.  It is estimated that 800,000 young people will be involved by June 2016.

Visit www.zonta.org to donate to these projects and/or other projects that support the advancement of women and girls.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days #GirlScouts

Day 14: December 8

Local Violence Against Women

As you have been reading and sharing these daily emails I have prepared for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence/Zonta Says No Campaign, I imagine that at times the information seemed to relate to other places and to other women.

This email is personal and local.  I was vividly reminded of how violence against women and girls is a local issue, as well as international.  As I was reading my morning newspaper, Times Record, on November 6, three articles about three different incidents of such abuse that happened in my home area appeared together on a page.

One report detailed a man accused of raping a 2-year-old girl within hours of her death.

A second report detailed a man accused of sexual contact with a toddler.  He is accused of raping the girl while his daughter was babysitting the child.

A third report  detailed the sentencing of one man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a girl, who told a forensic interviewer that this man and one other touched her “no-no spot.”  The man who pleaded guilty received a five-year suspended sentence.  The other man has not been apprehended.

Unfortunately, such horrifying instances occur every day/everywhere.  We must continue the fight against such violence.

Please join Zontians in raising awareness of gender violence–share the message!

#zontasaysno #16days

 


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