Zonta International Strategies to Eradicate Violence Against
Women and Children
(unoffical translation of English website)

For 80 years, Zonta International has worked throughout the world to champion women's causes, and ZISVAW (Zonta International Strategies to Eradicate Violence Against Women and Children) is a crucial program. It impacts women and children worldwide, giving them the opportunity often for the first time to live without fear of violence and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Violence against women and children is often condoned by cultures, legal systems, educational systems, health care providers, religions, business institutions, the media and military institutions. Utilizing its 35,000 members, and drawing upon its diverse international expertise and resources, Zonta International helps eradicate violence against women and children in the following ways

:Zontians in their clubs around the world select issues of concern and generate a plan of action for their workshops and meetings; Zonta International regional meetings include all concerned members of the community, government agencies, organizations and associations, recognizing that violence against women is an issue that effects humankind; Zonta International has developed an International Resource Center and Advisory Council to enhance the capacity to monitor legislation and advocate for the elevation of women's social status, guaranteeing their rights as human rights;

Zonta International promotes education regarding women's rights, to create an environment of gender equality in family life, in the sphere of education, in the workplace, and in government; Zonta International increases efforts to provide social, emotional, financial, health and environmental well being and security for the empowerment of women of all generations through advocacy within the legal, medical and public safety systems.

Actual or threatened physical violence and psychological violence, such as verbal abuse, are blatant human rights violations. They affect a woman's ability to attain a basic quality of life and are strongly associated with alcoholism and drug use in women, as well as an extreme sense of worthlessness.

In a United Nations Children's Development Fund report (UNICEF), Charlotte Bunch, Executive Director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University noted that: One-half to one-third of all women in industrialized and developing countries have suffered physical abuse by an intimate partner; In the United States, a woman is physically abused by her intimate partner every nine seconds; About 2 million girls each year are subjected to genital mutilation; More than 1 million children (mostly female) are forced into prostitution every year; In India, more than 5,000 women are killed each year because their in-laws consider their dowries inadequate.

The astounding physical and emotional trauma suffered by female and child victims of abuse deserves our outrage and our attention. By utilizing providing resources at Zonta Clubs throughout the world and drawing upon the expertise of Zonta International members, we can change the shattering impact of violence on women and children.

The ZISVAW program can potentially help every woman and child at risk in every nation on every continent-regardless of ethnicity, race, socio-economic status, and age. Definition of Violence Against Women Zonta International supports the definition of violence against women developed at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.

In that conference's Declaration and Platform for Action, violence against women is defined as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering for women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life. Accordingly, violence against women encompasses but is not limited to the following:

(a) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spouse violence and violence related to exploitation;
(b) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution;
(c) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it occurs.