Partnering to empower women and end gender-based violence
"Congratulations on your centenary! At UN Women, we greatly value Zonta International and the Zonta International Foundation’s role and work, as well as the endeavors of Zontians around the world. We are grateful for this partnership and your continued, unwavering support of women and girls.
"Young women like Rema Fayez Albtoush, of the UN Women Oasis Centre in Taibeh, Jordan, who is a graduate of the home maintenance training program, now have a chance to live their dreams, after struggling to work in non-traditional fields. Ms. Albtoush now wants to start her own micro-business in plumbing, and like many who are empowered through this program, is confident that she can start her own business through the technical skills she has learned. Read more about the Eid bi Eid project in Jordan.
"We commend your commitment also to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, where again your investment in our work in Jordan helps to empower, protect and support women. As a result, even in the most difficult of circumstances, these women are now able to earn an income, play a bigger role in household decision-making, improve household nutrition and combat gender-based violence.
"It is women like these whose changed lives demonstrate the impact of our work together and the potential it holds for women and for society as a whole. We are proud of our strong collaborative relationship. Long may it continue.
"We also thank you for your support of our work to prevent violence in urban spaces where we address the links between labor migration and human trafficking, and your support for women’s organizations through the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.
"[This] year’s 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action will offer further opportunities for our partnership and to celebrate our collaboration with every Zontian.
"I send you my warm congratulations and look forward to driving ahead together to bring hope and change to even those left furthest behind."
—Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director
Partnering to end violence against women and girls
Zonta International has invested in partnerships with UN Women (previously UNIFEM) for more than 30 years, beginning in 1986 with projects in Argentina, Botswana, the Comoros Islands, Thailand and Zimbabwe.
Much of Zonta’s work with UN Women has focused on efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls. This partnership has produced safer homes and public spaces, implemented laws to fully uphold women’s rights and provided higher quality services for survivors of violence. Many more people from all walks of life know that attitudes and behaviors must change, and are engaged in saying no to all forms of abuse.
An exemplary partnership
Over the last decade alone, Zonta International has contributed more than US$5.9 million toward UN Women’s efforts to end violence against women and girls around the world.
Diverse forms of violence have been addressed through these projects, including domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, abuse linked to inheritance and property, early and forced marriages, acid attacks and trafficking. Programs engage women and men, girls and boys, from the community to the national level.
Focused on both responding to violence and addressing its root causes, these programs provide new tools and skills that can be sustained over the long term. Participants learn to effectively advocate for laws and policies, make alliances, establish and manage services and outreach programs, compile evidence and educate communities.
Empowering vulnerable women
In 2018, Zonta International began a new partnership with UN Women in Jordan, which is hosting 655,000 Syrian refugees. While existing programs that provide food and unconditional cash assistance have been instrumental in responding to the immediate humanitarian crisis, they are not designed for long-term outcomes. UN Women’s Eid bi Eid (Hand in Hand) is a multi-year initiative to support the government of Jordan to address issues of employment and gender inequality, exacerbated by the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis. The project is improving Syrian refugee and Jordanian women’s access to sustainable and decent employment, coupled with protection services and community leadership/engagement, to enable greater equality and reduced violence against women.
Read more about this exciting partnership between Zonta International and UN Women.