District 20’s Yearlong Centennial Celebrations Culminate With Event at Helsinki City Theater

District 20 celebrated Zonta International’s 100th anniversary throughout 2019 in various ways.

The district, which includes Finland and Estonia, created a social media campaign that ran throughout the year, with a different theme for each month. The themes included education. women’s health, violence against women and human rights. The districts Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages were filled with information on the theme as well as Zonta International and how it has empowered women in the last 100 years.

The district also held the Yellow Rose Campaign of “ZAU” (Zonta Advances U) during the year. The ZAU Campaign is a campaign commemorating the 100th anniversary of Zonta International, aimed to encourage girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and correct the distorted division into men’s and women’s work. As a result, the worth of a “woman’s euro” will be increased in the future.

The district’s clubs implemented the campaign in 2018–2019 through collaboration with LUMA Centre Finland in Finnish and Swedish. This network of universities aims at inspiring and encouraging children and young people – our “future makers” – to take interest in and study mathematics, science and technology with the help of the latest innovations in STEM education.

On 8 November, more than 300 people attended “Zonta International 100 years – good life for girls and women” at Helsinki City Theatre. Guests included Zontians, non-Zontians and stakeholder participants.

The program covered many crucial aspects of lives of girls and women with well-known speakers from Finland and the U.S. The program was as follows:

  • Music from the Musical Little Mermaid: Sonja Pajunoja (Ariel), Actor, singer, Helsinki City Theatre

  • Opening of the Event: Zonta International 100 years: History, Present and Future, Salla Tuominen, Director 2018-2020, Zonta International & Zonta International Foundation

  • Greeting of Zonta International: Mari McKenzie, Treasurer / Secretary 2018-2020, Zonta International & Zonta International Foundation

  • Zonta International District 20’s Historical Timeline: Lea Helle, Governor & Eeva Larjomaa, Chair of History Committee

  • Exploitation of the Married Child: Shattering the Silence: Donna Pollard, Founder, Survivors’ Corner

  • Woman’s Perspective on Climate Change: Marja Järvelä, Professor emerita

  • Music from the Musical Little Mermaid: Alek Pèrez Lahtinen (Pärsky), Helsinki City Theatre

  • Female Genital Mutilation as a Continuation of a Violent Tradition: Meeri Koutaniemi, Journalist and photographer

  • Greeting of the Minister: Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality

  • Mini Panel Interview / Focus on Women and Girls: Helena Ranta, Professor emerita and Interviewer Kaius Niemi, Editor-in-Chief, Helsingin Sanomat

  • ZAU Campaign Donation: Maija Aksela, Director, LUMA Centre Finland, professor, University of Helsinki

  • Lea Helle, Governor and Vuokko Skyttä, Chair of Service Committee

  • Closing of the Event: Salla Tuominen, Director 2018-2020, Zonta International & Zonta International Foundation

The recording of the seminar is available here: https://zonta.fi/zonta100/helsinki-juhlavuoden-seminaari-8-11-2019/

The district also launched its history timeline on 8 November.

District 20 members are looking forward to the next 100 years of Zonta as Zonta International will be needed in the future too.