Zonta International is a global organization of more than 29,000 members in nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 63 countries. As we prepare to celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2019, we look back on some of the most significant milestones in our rich history of empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
Zonta International is led by four democratically-elected Officers and seven elected International Directors who make up the Zonta International Board. It is the role of the Zonta International Board to determine policy and provide general oversight of Zonta International; the role of Zonta International Headquarters staff is to implement that policy.
Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. Zonta International envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.
This year (2019) marks the centenary of Zonta International, an association which was created in the aftermath of the World War I by a group of visionary women in Buffalo (State of New York).
They were committed to the creation of a world of justice, equality of rights between men and women, and of solidarity among them. This centenary was also celebrated during an evening on the 15th of March 2019 at the Salons of the Palais du Luxembourg, here. The evening was organized by Zonta Paris Royal Concorde, a Parisian entity, connected to Zonta International.
The event was attended among others by Tabassum Saleem along with exceptional women, having leading professional positions (Head of Division, Head of Research at the CNRS), with Chais Elles, Café Lakay (organic coffee from Haiti) who all came to defend the rights of women. Through their presence and in a spirit of unity and solidarity, they came to support those who militate to end all kinds of discriminations against women.
The Zonta Paris Port Royal Concorde is a service club established forty years ago in Dakar, out of the common engagement of two women, Janine Ndiaye and Jacqueline Senghor, to the condition of women around the world. That period was marked by the diffusion of feminist thoughts and has been the starting point of societal changes of which the consequences are still visible today.
The project of Janine Ndiaye and Jacqueline Senghor was to unite women holding professional responsibilities in a service club, whose goal was to ameliorate the legal status of women in the world. Together, and because of their common willpower and their undeniable human values, they succeeded in mobilizing tens of women who were aware of the urgency and the size of the task.
In the last forty years, the Club Zonta Paris Port Royal Concorde has been leading a multitude of actions worldwide, contributing to the promotion of women in diverse domains: economics, culture and education (help to children in among others Guinea Bissau and Ivory Coast).
It has an NGO status and is represented at the Social and Economic Council of the United Nations (including an observatory status at the UNESCO, UNICEF, ILO and a participatory status at the Council of Europe).
Since it was founded, Zonta International has contributed more than 19 million dollars to projects benefitting women globally. Zonta International has provided training, education, health, sanitation and micro-credits to women.
In partnership with UNICEF USA, Zonta International is the lead donor to the program “Let us learn”, initiated in Madagascar, which allowed 22660 young girls to receive school material and 600 families to benefit from financial aid conditioned on sending their daughters to school.
With this initiative, 300 young girls who were not going to school could change their situation, while 960 others who were being exploited could receive medical assistance. In 2020, another 1 million dollars will be allocated to that program.
Between 1998 and 2002, Zonta International has been collaborating with UNICEF in the fight against genital mutilations in Burkina-Faso. Due to this action, the Burkina-Faso has registered a decrease of 40% in the number of girls having undergone this type of mutilation.
In 2019, Zonta International has given 2 million dollars to end violence to women in Nepal and Niger.
2019 marks the centenary of Zonta International which, in the aftermath of the First World War, has been created by a group of women who were visionary. They were concerned by the creation of a world of justice, equality of rights and equal opportunities for men and women, as well as solidarity among them.