Partnering to end violence against women and girls
Zonta International has invested in partnerships with UN Women and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women since the 1960s, and approximately 41% of all the funds from Zonta International have been utilized in projects in cooperation with UN Women (previously UNIFEM) and the UN Trust Fund. As a result, millions of lives have improved around the world.
Support to prevent and end gender-based violence has produced safer homes and public spaces, laws to fully uphold women’s rights and higher quality services for survivors. Many more people from all walks of life know that attitudes and behaviors must change, and are engaged in saying no to all forms of abuse.
While UN Women is the most prominent multilateral entity actively devoted to all aspects of gender equality and women’s empowerment, the UN Trust Fund is a leading multilateral grant-making mechanism dedicated to addressing violence. It awards funds to non-governmental and some governmental organizations pursuing pioneering initiatives with the potential for making lasting impacts. UN Women and the UN Trust Fund have been Zonta’s longstanding partners because of their global reach, strong focus on women’s rights and ability to provide innovative solutions.
Funds have gone, for example, to a program in the poor and violent neighborhoods of Villanueva and Nueva Suyapa, in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, where a shocking 78 percent of women have experienced some kind of violence in public places, including sexual and physical assault.
The program has mobilized local women’s activists to make their city safer. Through technical training and regular encouragement, they have set up critical services to assist survivors of violence, including legal and psychological support. Other initiatives offer economic empowerment as an avenue for women to escape or avoid violence.
An exemplary partnership
Over the last seven years alone, Zonta International has contributed more than US$4.5 million towards efforts by UN Women and the UN Trust Fund to end violence against women and girls around the world.
Diverse forms of violence have been addressed through these projects, including domestic violence, sexual violence, abuse linked to inheritance and property, early and forced marriages, acid attacks and trafficking. Programs engage women and men, girls and boys, from the community to the national level.
Focused on both responding to violence and addressing its root causes, these programs provide new tools and skills that can be sustained over the long term. Participants learn to effectively advocate for laws and policies, make alliances, establish and manage services and outreach programs, compile evidence and educate communities.
“Violence against women knows no borders and has devastating consequences. UN Women is proud to partner with Zonta International to end this human rights violation. By working with youth, we can make sustained progress on preventing gender-based violence."
-UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka