Partnering to improve maternal health
By working with agencies like UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, Zonta International can achieve its mission and goals and have a greater impact throughout the world. UNFPA, in particular, is an ideal partner in that its scope of work aligns with Zonta’s mission and objectives. UNFPA’s objectives include delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. Promoting gender equality and women’s human rights and improving maternal health–all essential to achieving these objectives–are equally important to Zonta.
Ending child marriage
In 2014, Zonta International began a new partnership with UNFPA to focus on the widespread problem of child marriage in Niger, where 76 percent of girls are married by age 18 and 28 percent by age 15. For four years, Zonta International and UNFPA worked together to improve the health of adolescent girls in Niger, ensuring they have access to education, protecting them from violence, and empowering them by giving them access to female mentors and leaders. In 2018, Zonta International expanded its partnership to support the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, which brings together governments, civil society, families and young people in a collective effort to prevent girls from marrying too young and to support those already married as girls. Operating in 12 countries, the program is turning commitment into tangible action to effect meaningful and lasting change in girls’ lives. Zonta International is helping fund the initial phase, which has the potential to reach 2.5 million girls by the end of 2019.