Truro Area Report
The Zonta Club of Truro Area decided our best action was to send a letter to our local daily newspaper in conjunction with the start of the 16 Days of Activism. The letter (to the right) was printed in the Truro Daily News. We were pleased to see their prompt response by printing this, bringing both positive attention to our small club, as well as giving due attention to the concern of violence against women.
Although I cannot respond as to whether this letter has caused a direct correlation to the challenge we offered to our community, which is the elimination of violence toward women, I can say that among our small group of women, we continue to be engaged in deep discussions about the concerns of violence toward women, particularly in response to more recent issues in the media. It has also incited our membership to act in pro-social ways of supporting women in our community through service in such acts as volunteering to work evenings at our 'Out of the Cold' shelter . These shifts can be evening or overnight hours offering food, company and shelter to homeless women and men in our community. Our club continues to be a part of hostessing a local Mental Health initiative called 'Women and Wellness,' an event held each year. This event invites women from every walk in our community to an evening of chocolate, h'or d'oeuvres and non alcoholic wine accented by stimulating guest speakers sharing thoughts, experiences and research on Mental Health issues particular to women. This is a significant fund raiser for the Nova Scotia Mental Health Association, Colchester branch, and we are proud to be a contributing factor in their success.
This brings to evidence the power a few concerned and well intentioned fellow Zontians have when they are determined to support the betterment of women in our community, province and country through small steps and selfless acts.
I hope this report helps to feed your blog and offer fresh ideas to other clubs in our district.
Amherst Area Report
Half of the Amherst Area club membership attended the Amherst Vigil marking the 25 anniversary of what is known as the Montreal Massacre and National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Our president was honored to place a red rose on a beautiful plain Christmas tree in memory of the students who lost their lives.
Quaboag Valley Report
The Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley honored Kathy Picard with their Founder’s Day Award in November. Kathy is an advocate for victims of sexual child abuse and lobbied successfully to have the statute of limitations in Massachusetts expanded to allow victims who had repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse that recently surfaced to prosecute their abusers. The event was attended by members of law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, fellow colleagues and Zontians, as well as a young woman who had been abused whom Kathy has taken under her care as a mentor. At the same event, Dr. Mary Ann Rubis gave a presentation on the Zonta Says No campaign. She explained what the campaign is about and its goals. Mary Ann also spoke of events that had taken place throughout Zonta to raise the public’s awareness on the issue of domestic violence.
We are also involved with the Palmer Domestic Violence Task Force. Marge Cavanaugh, our liaison, reports particpation in a White Ribbon Campaign, where young men in local high schools are asked to sign a pledge they will not use violence against anyone; a National Nite Out, where women who have been in abusive relationships share stories and offer help to victims; and dispersement of literature to grade school students to bring home concerning where to get help if needed.
Malden Club Report
The Zonta Club of Malden continues its efforts to broadcast the message that Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women and Girls. In conjunction with the Malden Teen Enrichment Center, the Malden Zonta Club sponsored its first annual STEPS (Steps Toward Empowering Personal Safety) walk on October 12. District 1 Lt. Governor, Joanne Lambert was the visionary for this walk. With more than 125 participants, the Zonta Club of Malden, the Z Club of Malden and Mayor Gary Christensen and other city residents marched through the heart of Malden, ending at City Hall. Prior to the walk, a “Step-Off Ceremony” was held at the Salemwood School with a survivor of domestic violence sharing her story. The candlelight vigil at City Hall, at the conclusion of the walk, included a presentation of the Silent Witnesses (provided by REACH). The entire event was covered by local media, including a front page story in the Malden Advocate and television broadcast on Malden Access Television.
The Malden Zonta Club also had a team participate in the annual MAAV (Melrose Alliance Against Violence) walk on October 19. This event began with a moving ceremony at the Melrose Veteran’s Memorial Middle School and included a remembrance of the victims of domestic violence in the previous year, with many family members being present to honor and remember their lost loved ones. Team Zonta raised over $100 for the MAAV walk, as well as walked with our Zonta Says NO banner through the city streets of Melrose.
During the 16 Days of Activism, the Zonta Club of Malden marched in the Annual Parade of Holiday Traditions on November 29th. The Z Club of Malden created posters with messages to read “I Need Feminism Because . . . “ These posters have different messages highlighting the issues facing women and girls, especially around domestic violence. Both the Zonta Club of Malden and the Z Club of Malden highlighted photographs in its Social Media Facebook pages, and received enormous response from around the world.
Chelsea Club Report
The Zonta Club of Chelsea recognized the 16 Days of Advocacy in two ways:
Our members donated toiletry kits to our local domestic violence shelter, HarborCov, which will be given to each woman who arrives at the shelter after fleeing from a life-threatening situation.
During the 16 Days, Chelsea Zontians worked with the local Boys and Girls Club in planning a special event for Chelsea teen girls who are members of the Boys and Girls Club or the Girl Scouts and their mothers. We hope to show the movie "Girl Rising" followed by dinner and a discussion with the girls and mothers within the next 2 months.
Southern Maine Report
Last biennium and this we're doing the same thing - made a poster with a picture of several professional men - firemen - fishermen, etc., with the message Real Men Say No to Domestic Violence with contact information of abuse hotlines in our area . This year we added numbers for Lakes Region area along with our website. We put these up in public places so women can have access to help if they need support.
Bangor Club Report
Part of the Zonta Club of Bangor’s advocacy efforts during the 16 days of activism were a continuation of our annual Christmas Service. Each year club members shop for the mom’s and children who are currently being serviced by the local domestic violence shelters, (Spruce Run and Woman Care), in addition to the Good Samaritan agency which aids expecting and new teenage moms continue their education and train them in caring for their newborn. Our Christmas Service Shopping has promoted a long standing relationship of caring for these women in need and creating lasting fellowship with our members.
Concord Club Report
During the 16 Days of Activism, the Zonta Club of Concord
- Donated $1,000 to the Sheila Stanley Fund at Women Kind Counseling to support a full round of counseling for a woman in crisis.
- Held our annual Holiday Auction fundraiser at which we got the word out about the 16 Days of Activism and our local projects to approximately 85 participants.
- We created a Zonta Club of Concord Says No poster, which was prominently displayed at our event as well as postcards to hand out to participants when they left.
- We also had our NAMA (New Americans Merit Award) recipient from last year speak at our event. She is a former refugee from Sudan—she and her family experienced violence and persecution. She is an inspiration and true testament to the spirit of resilience.
Burlington Club Report
5 members (over 2 days) attended the City of Burlington’s 30th Annual Women’s Festival of Crafts on November 29 and 30, 2014. With a two-day Festival of high quality crafts exclusively by women crafters, we thought it a great opportunity to (1) spread the word of Zonta says NO and the 16 days of Activism, (2) have an informal membership drive with all those female shoppers, and (3) have a small fundraiser. One of our members owns a massage therapy business so with 2 fellow ‘body workers’ they offered free massages (donations accepted – we raised $340) while other members were on hand to hand out club brochures, speak to Zonta says NO and the 16 Days of Activism as well as the Dec 1st Aids Awareness Day. We had more than 30 women and men come through for massages and we got about 5 new member potentials. One man is taking the information home to his wife. Overall, we thought it a good weekend spreading the word about Zonta and our wonderful works!
Clubs with no formal actions to report for 2014:
West Suburban Boston
Halifax - Unfortunately due to the short time that we had to prepare, we were unable to do something for 2014. However, we are excited to begin our 2015 Zonta Says No Campaign and plan to bring forward an action plan to share this year as local, national, and international opportunities for advocacy become available. We also hope to collaborate with other advocacy chairs in the province on any initiatives.
The 2014 Zonta Says No campaign begins November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - also the first day of the 16 Days Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. More
16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM CAMPAIGN
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
This year, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women invites you to “Orange YOUR Neighborhood.” Take the UNiTE campaign to local streets, shops and businesses, and organize “Orange Events” in your own neighborhoods between 25 November and 10 December 2014. Reach out to your neighbors, local stores, food-sellers on the corner of your street, gas stations, local cinemas, barbers, schools, libraries and post offices! Project orange lights and hang orange flags onto local landmarks, tie orange ribbons where you are allowed, and organize local ‘orange marches’ on 25 November to raise awareness about violence against women and discuss solutions that would work for your community. 16 facts to check out: who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/global_campaign/16_days/en/ See more
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign is an international campaign begun in 1991. It originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The dates chosen for the campaign are November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, through December 10th, International Human Rights Day. These particular days were chosen to reinforce that violence against women is a human rights issue and that violence against women is a human rights violation.
Submission by Mary Ann K. Rubis ZIMembership Committee Member, 2014-2016
The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766. Almost double the amount of casualties lost during war. Since its inception in 2012, Zontians around the world have united and embraced the “Zonta Says NO” Campaign through local actions. More