Zonta International is a leading global organization of professional women empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. We support local, national and international service projects for disadvantaged women and also promote the advancement of gifted girls and women. Our efforts aim to ensure that women worldwide are able to live free and fulfilled lives.
Our 30,000 members in 1,230 clubs in 67 countries strive to achieve both equality between women and men and a life free of violence for all women and girls. We envision a world in which women's rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential. In such a world, women have access to all resources (including education, healthcare, and economic resources). Women are represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men. No woman lives in fear of violence. Through our service and advocacy, we want to contribute to making such a world a reality.
„Zonta“ meaning honest and trustworthy, is derived from Lakhota, a language of the Native American Sioux peoples. It was adopted in 1919 by the founders of Zonta International to symbolize the combined qualities of honesty and trust, inspiration and the ability to work together for service and world understanding.
Zonta advocacy is action taken in „the public interest“ or for „the greater good“ with respect to empowering women and girls and promoting the protection of their human rights.
Locally, we host speakers and panels to raise awareness about issues obstructing the equal rights and development of women and girls. We want to ensure changes in societal development are in line with our vision by influencing relevant political decisions. We monitor local laws and policies and their impact on women, participate in hearings and public meetings with local politicians and administrators.
Nationally, we are members of committees and representative bodies and send petitions to national governments.
Zonta International advocates primarily through its General Consultative Status with ECOSOC at the United Nations (UN) and our Participatory Status at the Council of Europe. Zonta International has been affiliated with the UN since 1969 and has been represented in the CoE since 1983.
In 2012 Zonta International launched „ Zonta Says No to Violence against Women“, a global campaign to raise awareness of and increase advocacy actions to end violence against women and girls around the world. Local clubs participate through various initiatives.
Our local and international service projects are geared towards long-term effects and are therefore particularly concentrated in education and health care. However, we also focus on issues such as the elimination of gender-based violence, human trafficking and child marriage, as well as safe cities for women, and female economic empowerment. Internationally, we partner with UN agencies to financially support projects to empower women and girls to understand their rights and realize their full potential. For the 2016-2018 biennium we, as the Zonta International organization, have committed ourselves to contributing a total of $4 million USD across 4 different projects.
Zonta International Foundation
The Zonta International Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization and is supported solely by contributions from Zonta clubs, individual Zontians, and friends of Zonta. Every biennium, the Zonta International Foundation provides more than $5 million USD for Zonta International's programs and projects that benefit thousands of women around the world. To support Zonta International Foundation’s programs and projects, clubs are asked to contribute 1/3 of locally-raised funds to the foundation. Individuals members are also called on to support the foundation through personal donations. All contributions go entirely to the foundation, to support its programs and development, and do not go towards covering operating expenses.
The operating expenses of Zonta International and the Zonta International Foundation are covered by yearly individual membership dues.
Supporting the education and training of young women
The Zonta Foundation funds three programs in particular:
Amelia Earhart Fellowship
The fellowship was established in 1938 in honor of famed aviator and Zontian, Amelia Earhart. 35 Fellowships of $10,000 USD each are awarded annually to women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in the fields of aerospace science and aerospace engineering.
Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
The scholarship was established in 1998 from a bequest by Jane M. Klausman, a member of the Zonta Club of Syracuse, New York, USA. Annually, 12 scholarship recipients are selected from a pool of 32 Zonta District winners. The 12 recipients each receive scholarships of $7,000 USD. District winners are also awarded $1,000 USD each. Young women pursuing undergraduate or master's degrees in business or a business-related field are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
Young Women in Public Affairs Award
The award was established in 1990. 10 international awards of $4,000 USD each and up to 32 district awards of $1,000 USD each are awarded annually to young women, ages 16 to 19, who demonstrate a commitment to the volunteer sector, evidence of volunteer leadership achievements and a dedication to empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
Z and Golden Z Clubs
Established in 1948, the Z and Golden Z Club programs help high school, college, and university students develop leadership skills, promote career exploration and encourage members to participate in community, school, and international service. Z and Golden Z clubs are sponsored by Zonta clubs who provide resources, information, and guidance to support members as they work to improve their communities and the world.
Important Zonta Dates
11.01. Amelia Earhart Day
08.03.: International Women's Day and Zonta Rose Day
11.10.: International Day of the Girl Child
24.10.: United Nations Day
08.11.: Zonta International Birthday
25.11.: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
25.11.-10.12.: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence and
Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women
10.12.: Human Rights Day