Empowering women for more than a century

March 3, 2022 BY

Club president Fiona MacDowall, left, and new member Angie Holmes.

Zonta International has successfully empowered women worldwide through service and advocacy for more than 100 years.

Zonta uses its voice to advocate for gender equality and women’s human rights globally and locally.

Internationally, Zonta advocates through its General Consultative Status with the United Nations and Participatory Status at the Council of Europe.

The Zonta International Foundation for Women is a not-for-profit charitable organisation which supports an extensive international service program through the contributions of Zonta clubs, individual Zontians and friends.

The Zonta Club of Geelong has been serving the Geelong community for over 40 years, developing projects and actions which address the needs of local women and girls.

Club president Fiona MacDowall acknowledges members “as a diverse, energetic and enthusiastic group, who welcome the challenge in the vision for a more equal world, where our global leadership and long-standing partnerships help us work toward that vision every day”.

The club’s newest member, Angie Holmes, first heard about Zonta as a high school student who was lucky enough to receive a Zonta scholarship to help support her journey to university.

Angie decided to join Zonta to give back and hopefully support similar young females in the future.

The club offers scholarships and awards to local female students, including the Zonta International Young Women in Public Affairs Award and the Women in Technology Scholarship, as well as the club Sainsbury/Zandren award, which assists the recipient to remain in education.

The club also sponsors the Human Rights Award in the City of Greater Geelong Women in Community Life Awards and supports Debbie’s Place Bellarine, a safe house for at-risk girls.

Other recent activities include the donation of Breast Care Cushions to local hospitals for women and men who have undergone surgery as the result of breast cancer.

The club recently donated its 2,000th cushion to Barwon Health.

Members also assemble birthing kits, which provide for a clean and safe birthing environment for women in developing countries.

The Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign unites Zonta clubs around the world to raise their voices to bring awareness to this issue and advocate on behalf of gender-based violence survivors.

“Each November club members walk along the Geelong waterfront to highlight this issue on the International Day for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and organise other activities including relevant guest speakers and discussions,” Fiona said.

Zonta International projects at the moment include prevention of child marriage, educational programs in Madagascar, survivor-centred response to violence survivors in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste and girls’ health and protection in Peru. Zonta also recognises that understanding climate change as a human rights issue is central to the fight against climate change, but also to create a sustainable, gender-equal future.

The Zonta Club of Geelong invites you to be part of a greater movement to help women in our local community and around
the world.

A new member can influence change much like a single drop creates a ripple effect.

The club is holding an information session on Wednesday, March 23, at 6pm. To register. email [email protected]