Our OrganizationZonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. Founded in 1919 in Buffalo, New York, USA, today, Zonta is a global organization with some 32,000 members who belong to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 66 countries and geographic areas.
Zonta seeks to:
Zonta International and the United NationsSince 1946, Zonta International has been closely linked with the United Nations and since 1985 has had general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of six principal bodies carrying out UN work. Through this relationship and our UN Committee representatives in New York, Geneva, Paris and Vienna, Zonta is able to bring women's perspectives to efforts to improve education and health conditions and promote respect for and observance of the human rights and freedoms of people to the UN.
Zonta International is on the front lines of global and local efforts to help women overcome barriers to equality through education, service and advocacy programs. Each year, Zontians dedicate hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars to these efforts.
The Zonta International Foundation raises, invests and distributes financial support for the charitable and educational programs of Zonta International, serving as a catalyst for greater service to women throughout the world.
International Service, Fellowships, and moreIn 1938, Zonta launched the Amelia Earhart Fellowship Program, commemorating groundbreaking aviator and Zontian Amelia Earhart. Then Zonta President Ellen Parks, remembered, "At that time few women considered a career in aerospace engineering, yet not one voice of doubt was raised as to the success of such a scholarship."
The Fellowships are awarded to outstanding women pursuing PhD degrees in aerospace science and engineering... women who are following Amelia's dream for gender equality.
The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarships are presented to women pursuing business management studies at accredited undergraduate institutions. Since 1998, 175 scholarships totaling US$260,800 have been awarded to women representing 39 countries.
The Young Women in Public Affairs Program encourages young women, ages 16 to 20, to participate in public and political life by recognizing their commitment to the volunteer sector, evidence of volunteer leadership achievements and a dedication to the advancement of the status of women. Since 1990, 465 awards totaling US$255,750 have been presented to young women representing 46 countries.
Zonta's tradition of International Service began in 1956, when Zontians first responded to the urgent needs of Hungarian refugees. In the early 1960s, support for the Anne Frank Village in Germany provided for construction materials for homes for more than 1,000 homeless families.
In 1962, Zonta first partnered with a United Nations agency – the UN Relief and Works Agency -- to provide vocational training for women in the Gaza Strip. Over a 14-year-period, Zonta funded 573 scholarships totaling US$327,000. Zonta has partnered with UN agencies and international NGOs in every year since, in countries across the globe, addressing some of the most crucial and pressing issues affecting women, including access to basic education and healthcare, economic security, and the elimination of poverty. Today, more than US$8 million has been contributed by Zontians, friends of Zonta and Zonta Clubs to provide support for international service projects benefiting more than 2 million women and their families in some 34 countries.
Zonta International Strategies to Prevent Violence Against Women (ZISVAW)Gender violence is a threat to women in every nation. Globally, gender-based violence is the most pervasive and least recognized human rights violation. It affects every race, class, culture, ethnicity, age and country. Women are potential victims of violence at every stage of their lives. Zonta International recognizes that the human rights of women and girls are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights.
Zonta International recognizes the need to promote and protect the human rights of all women and girls. Zonta International Strategies to Prevent Violence Against Women – ZISVAW - was created in 1996 and formally adopted as a Zonta International program in Paris in 1998. The program focuses on the prevention of violence against women through education, awareness and advocacy through international and community-based collaborations.
Between 1998 and 2004, the ZISVAW provided support for 24 grants to Zonta Clubs and their local NGO partners totaling more than US$568,000 in 7 countries.
In 2004, the ZISVAW program began awarding grants to United Nations agencies or recognized international non-governmental organizations for projects designed to change personal and/or political knowledge, attitudes and behavior contributing to gender-based violence. Between 2004 and 2008, nine grants were made totaling US$588,500 for projects in ten countries.
Together, the Zonta International Foundation and Zonta club members are making real differences in the lives of women around the world. Together, we are advancing the status of women worldwide.
Zonta Club of Kaua`i - P.O. Box 3032, Lihue, HI 96766 USA