Almost two years ago, I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at a Zonta event in Fort Collins, Colorado. I'm ashamed to admit it today, but back then I was unfamiliar with the amazing work that this organization does both here in the U.S. and around the world. Saturday, March 8th, is the official International Women's Day, and it is also the day known as Zonta Rose Day. The goal is to raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges that face women worldwide. Fortunately, Zonta advocates for and generously supports projects and organizations that a) improve the status of women, b) promote human rights, and c) uphold justice.
Zonta was established in Buffalo, New York in 1919, and its earliest members were among the first generation of college-educated, voting, employed women in America. The group's founder, Marian de Forest, wanted to create an organization that could (and would) help women reach their potential. Within one year there were nine Zonta clubs with 600 members. Today, there are 1,200 clubs in 65 countries and 30,000 members worldwide.
On Saturday, countless women who have worked hard to help others (in both big and small ways) will receive a yellow rose as a token of appreciation for their efforts. Zonta's goal is to advance the economic, educational, health, legal, political and professional status of women. Zonta international has supported projects in 57 countries, and provided scholarships as well as awards to women around the globe.
In cooperation with the United Nations and its agencies, Zonta has worked hard to raise awareness of (and improve education about) violence against women and children. This effort includes implementing (and enforcing) local laws that protect women and victims of violence--including providing legal, medical, rehabilitation and reintegration services for survivors of violence.
To learn more about Zonta, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Isn't it good to know that we all can make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls both in our own communities as well as around the world?
Looking forward to your comments.