Partnering to end violence against women and girls
Zonta International has invested in partnerships with UN Women (previously UNIFEM) for more than 30 years, beginning in 1986 with projects in Argentina, Botswana, the Comoros Islands, Thailand and Zimbabwe.
Much of Zonta’s work with UN Women has focused on efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls. This partnership has produced safer homes and public spaces, implemented laws to fully uphold women’s rights and provided higher quality services for survivors of violence. 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.
An exemplary partnership
Over the last decade alone, Zonta International has contributed more than US$4.5 million toward UN Women’s efforts 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, human trafficking, 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.
Empowering vulnerable women
In 2018, Zonta International began a new partnership with UN Women in Jordan, which is hosting 1.4 million Syrian refugees. While existing programs that provide food and unconditional cash assistance have been instrumental in responding to the immediate humanitarian crisis, they are not designed for long-term outcomes. UN Women’s Eid bi Eid (Hand in Hand) is a multi-year initiative to support the government of Jordan to address issues of employment and gender inequality, exacerbated by the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis. The project will improve Syrian refugee and Jordanian women’s access to sustainable and decent employment, coupled with protection services and community leadership/engagement, to enable greater equality and reduced violence against women.