SERVICE AND ADVOCACY

MISSION AND VISION

Mission
Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

Vision
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.

In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions on equal terms with men.

SERVICE

International service has been integral to Zonta International’s mission since Zonta funded its first international service project – relief efforts to care for 115,000 orphan children in Smyrna, Turkey – in 1923. Since that first project, Zonta’s international service efforts have grown to more than US $28.7 million targeted projects in 66 countries across six continents.

Through these international service projects, funded primarily through agencies of the United Nations and other non-governmental organizations, Zonta International improves women’s lives by increasing their access to education, health care, legal services and economic opportunities while supporting efforts to prevent and end all forms of violence against women and girls.

These programs and projects are made possible through donations to the Zonta International Foundation.

ADVOCACY

Zonta International, Zonta districts and Zonta clubs advocate human rights and gender equality at international, national and local levels. At the international level, Zonta International advocates these issues primarily through the United Nations (UN) and the Council of Europe. At the national level, Zonta districts, areas and clubs take action in support of, or in opposition to, legislation on issues affecting women and girls. At the local level, Zonta clubs monitor laws and policies and their impact on women, participate in hearings and public meetings with local politicians and administrators, and host speakers and panels to raise awareness about issues affecting women in their local communities.

Zonta and the United Nations

The teams of the Zonta International UN Committee represent Zonta at the UN Headquarters in New York, the UN Office and the ILO headquarters in Geneva, the UN Office in Vienna, and UNESCO in Paris. The teams ensure that Zonta’s priorities are presented, and that Zonta’s voice is clear in mission-related meetings at their respective sites. They meet and work with decision makers from UN agencies and countries where Zonta has funded projects and/or where there are Zonta clubs. The current priority area is the Sustainable Development Goals, which set the UN agenda for the next 15 years, concentrating on Goal 5 Gender Equality and areas that relate to women’s empowerment. The teams also monitor and report on ongoing issues such as human trafficking, women’s employment, human rights, the gender pay gap, and much more. Team members work in coalition with other like-minded organizations on issues of mutual concern, such as early and child marriage.

Zonta and the Council of Europe

The Council of Europe is Europe’s leading inter-governmental human rights organization working with its 47 member states to strengthen human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Zonta International has been represented at the Council of Europe (CoE) since 1983 and is one of the 320 international non-governmental organizations with participatory status at the Conference of INGOs, the body representing civil society in the CoE.

Statements and Position Papers:

Position Paper on Migration
Position Paper on Prostitution
Position Paper on Trafficking in Persons
Statement on women’s rights and non-state terrorist groups