Zonta clubs celebrate their founders’ day

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Members of the Zonta Club of Austin will are celebrating the 97th anniversary of Zonta International on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Sterling State Bank during the monthly business meeting.

November 1950 was the organizational meeting for the Zonta Club of Austin and they were chartered with Zonta International in January 1951. Zonta International has been on the front lines of global and local efforts to help women overcome barriers to equal education, health care, legal rights, credit and employment through education, service and advocacy programs funded by the Zonta International Foundation. Founded in 1919 in Buffalo, New York, USA, the organization now has nearly 30,000 members in more than 1,200 clubs in 67 countries and geographic areas.

“The active engagement and participation of women in policy making and strategy development, and the creation of gender-sensitive programs are both vital for the full attainment of the goals of gender equality, education, sustainable development and the elimination of all forms of discrimination and harmful practices against them,” Zonta Club of Austin  President Cheryl Retterath said.

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Zontians worldwide have provided more than $22 million for international programs and projects benefiting more than eight million women in over 67 countries. Zonta International service programs are currently focused on providing educational opportunities and access to healthcare, and the prevention of violence against women and include:

The Amelia Earhart Fellowships, provide Fellowships to women in 58 countries for graduate work in aerospace science and engineering since 1938.

The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarships, providing financial support for women pursuing business management careers.

The Young Women in Public Affairs Awards to high school women who demonstrate a commitment to service in their schools and communities.

The International Service Program, funding projects that empower women to overcome barriers to their equal human rights. During the 2016-2018 Biennium, Zonta is providing support to the following: UNICEF Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in Rwanda, UNIFEM Safe Cities for Women Project in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and San Salvador, El Salvador and UNFPA Reduction of Obstetric Fistula in Liberia within the context of Maternal and Newborn Health.

Zonta Clubs also select, fund and participate in local education, service and advocacy projects that promote women’s equality. Here in Austin, the Zonta Club has been involved in the Seibel Visitation Center, ARC Mower County, Dr Earl Thompson with Nepal Services, DCD Prom, Austin Adult Leaning (GED’S), Mower County Relay for Life and March of Dimes.