Category Archives: Advocacy

Come Celebrate International Women’s Day!

Join us in honoring the women in your lives who have made a difference. Bring in a story to share and picture (optional) about a woman who has helped empower you, who has made a positive difference in your life. This program is free and open to all.

Beginning at 6:00pm, Vocal Soloist Jan Knutson and students from Parker Arts Academy will perform musical selections, honoring women composers and songwriters. We will share stories throughout the evening. The Hedberg Public Library will join us by presenting a display at the event.

Light refreshments will be served; the JPAC cash bar will be open.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at 6:00pm – 8:00pm.

Janesville Performing Arts Center Gallery; 408 S. Main St., Janesville, WI.

This program is free and open to all. If you are interested in telling a story, please contact Edie Baran:, or call/text 608-931-5705. We ask that your story be no longer than 5 minutes long. You may also just post your story on the display board at the event. Please visit the Janesville Zonta Facebook page for more details and to preview women’s stories.

Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

Zonta International envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.

In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men.

In such a world, no woman lives in fear of violence.  For more information about the ZONTA of Janesville, email or message us on Facebook!

Improve access to medical forensics for survivors of violence

Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, and one out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.

The Alaska Comprehensive Training Forensic Academy (ACTFA), a pilot program run through the University of Alaska Anchorage, promotes forensic training for nurses and health care providers to build capacity for communities to respond to all types of violence.

The bipartisan S. 2655, or the Ensuring Forensic Care for All Victims Act, authorizes demonstration grants based off the ACTFA. Its purpose is to create funding opportunities through national demonstration grants to develop trauma-informed standards of care that
promote generalist forensic medical training tailored to meet health care professional and first responder needs.

The Ensuring Forensic Care for All Victims Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) in August 2021. Please urge your senators to co-sponsor and support S. 2655. If they have already sponsored or cosponsored the bill, you can send a message of thanks


Membership Drive Going On Now!

Since 1960, Zonta Club of Janesville has enhanced the community we live in through service and advocacy projects as well as fundraising efforts which provide scholarships to local women.  Below are our current Service and Advocacy Projects.  Interested in learning more?  Join our Monthly Club Meeting on the first Tuesday of every month (excluding July/August).  Contact us today for more information!

Service Projects:

Violence Against Women Programs

YWCA Alternatives to Violence:  This program’s goal is meeting the crisis needs of domestic violence victims.  Volunteers can answer the 24-hour helpline, listen, and provide support to callers and shelter residents.  Zonta members contribute household items as requested and provide financial assistance for programming.

YWCA Transitional Living Program:  This program’s goal is to help women make a successful transition from abusive relationships to violence-free homes and independent lives.   Volunteers assist with child care, mentoring, and preparing welcome items.  Zonta members contribute household items as requested, and service funds help meet emergency needs of the residents.

Women with a Vision Program

In this service project, initiated in 2012, Zonta collaborates with other agencies and foundations to provide scholarships and additional support to single mothers who intend to pursue education that will empower them to enter careers that provide family sustaining wages. Zonta members are part of the candidate selection committee.

Sexual Assault Recovery Program (SARP)

This project’s goal is to help women in the aftermath of sexual assault.  Zonta members contribute toiletries as requested to help women retain & reclaim their dignity in clinical settings.


The Janesville Literacy Connection: Club members can participate as volunteer tutors and with the annual Trivia for Literacy contest.


In order to support our service projects, members engage in fundraising activities. Members also track their fundraising hours during the year. Fundraising hours include time spent on the nut sale and the International Women’s Day Luncheon to raise funds in support of our service projects.

Z-Club Program

The Zonta Club of Janesville voted to assume the sponsorship of the Z-Club at Beloit Memorial High School after the Zonta Club of Beloit disbanded.  Z-Clubs must be approved annually at the school.  We stand ready to sponsor the Z-Club when it is authorized by the school.


Advocacy Projects:

The Zonta Club of Janesville engages in advocacy to improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women in our local community through projects. These include:

International Women’s Day Workshop and Advocacy at the State Capitol

To acknowledge International Women’s Day, club members will join with other Wisconsin Zonta Clubs in Madison to receive updates on issues concerning violence against women, and other legal issues affecting the status of women in Wisconsin. Zontians will learn how to approach members of the State Assembly and Senate on these issues, and will then go to the Capitol building to meet with legislators and their staff to actively engage them in discussion about women’s issues and needed legislation. The day will end with a rally in the Capitol Rotunda.

On or around International Women’s Day (March 8) club members join with other Wisconsin Zonta Clubs in Madison to receive updates on issues concerning violence against women, and other legal issues affecting the status of women in Wisconsin. Zontians learn how to approach members of the State Assembly and Senate on these issues, and will then go to the Capitol building to meet with legislators and their staff to actively engage them in discussion about women’s issues and needed legislation.

Zonta Says NO: Join the Campaign to End Violence Against Women

To support this Zonta International campaign, our local Zontians participate in and support events such as the YWCA’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” and a social media campaign to increase awareness of gender-based violence.

Annual International Women’s Day Luncheon

Every year, in March, the Zonta Club of Janesville hosts a luncheon to observe International Women’s Day. This is one of the club’s major events to raise funds to support our local and international service and advocacy projects.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign that takes place each year. It commences on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, indicating that violence against women is the most pervasive breach of human rights worldwide. It was originated by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals, institutions and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Ways to Take Action!

  • Donate to your local or national shelter or hotline service
  • Make a personal commitment to not condone or accept violence, and to speak up
  • Have conversations with family and friends about the negative impact of VAWG on individuals and communities
  • Educate yourself about the causes and consequences of VAWG
  • Invest in technical solutions to aid government and civil society response for survivors such as online and text support
  • Invest in creating safer spaces on- and offline for women and girls
  • Donate to local women’s organizations


International Women’s Day – March 8


The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.  This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality, and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.

People around the world are mobilizing for a future that is more equal. This has taken the form of global marches and campaigns, including #MeToo in the United States of America and its counterparts in other countries, protesting against sexual harassment and violence, such as #YoTambien in Mexico, Spain, South America and beyond, #QuellaVoltaChe in Italy, #BalanceTonPorc in France and #Ana_kaman in the Arab States; “Ni Una Menos” (‘not one less’), a campaign against femicide that originated in Argentina; and many others, on issues ranging from equal pay to women’s political representation.

International Women’s Day 2018 is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.

Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in the global agricultural labor force.  They till the lands and plant seeds to feed nations, ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. Yet, on almost every measure of development, because of deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women. For instance, less than 20 per cent of landholders worldwide are women, and while the global pay gap between men and women stand at 23 per cent, in rural areas, it can be as high as 40 per cent. They lack infrastructure and services, decent work, and social protection, and are left more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Making the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals a reality, to leave no one behind, needs urgent action in rural areas to ensure an adequate standard of living, a life free of violence and harmful practices for rural women, as well as their access to land and productive assets, food security and nutrition, decent work, education, and health, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Rural women and their organizations represent an enormous potential, and they are on the move to claim their rights and improve their livelihoods and wellbeing. They are using innovative agricultural methods, setting up successful businesses and acquiring new skills, pursuing their legal entitlements, and running for office. Recently, as hundreds of courageous women from the film, theatre and art industry in the USA started speaking against sexual harassment and assault by powerful men in the industry, they found a powerful ally in Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, the national farmworker women’s organization, no stranger to the abuse of power.

On 8 March, join activists around the world and UN Women to seize the moment, celebrate, act, and transform women’s lives everywhere. The time is NOW.

 History of the Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.

Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.


  • 1909   The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honor of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested working conditions.
  • 1910   The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women’s Day, international in character, to honor the movement for women’s rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish Parliament. No fixed date was selected for the observance.
  • 1911   As a result of the Copenhagen initiative, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded women’s rights to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.
  • 1913-1914   International Women’s Day also became a mechanism for protesting World War I. As part of the peace movement, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with other activists.
  • 1917   Against the backdrop of the war, women in Russia again chose to protest and strike for “Bread and Peace” on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar). Four days later, the Czar abdicated, and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote.
  • 1975 During International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on 8 March.
  • 1995 The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments, focused on 12 critical areas of concern, and envisioned a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.
  • 2014 The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58) – the annual gathering of States to address critical issues related to gender equality and women’s rights — focused on “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”. UN entities and accredited NGOs from around the world took stock of progress and remaining challenges towards meeting the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs have played an important role in galvanizing attention on and resources for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The UN and Gender Equality

The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programs, and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

Over the years, the UN and its technical agencies have promoted the participation of women as equal partners with men in achieving sustainable development, peace, security, and full respect for human rights. The empowerment of women continues to be a central feature of the UN’s efforts to address social, economic, and political challenges across the globe.