Empowering women through Service and Advocacy
Zonta International is a leading global organisation of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
There are over 29,000 members in 63 countries.
Zonta International envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognised 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.
What are the origins of Zonta?
The first Zonta club was formed in Buffalo, New York in 1919, by journalist and playwright Marian de Forest.
Five women conceived of the formation of a new service club, made up of business and professional women, where they decided to “take for their specific aim educational and constructive work for girls and young women”. Ever since then Zonta clubs have been chartered all over the world.
‘Zonta’ is a derivative of the North American Sioux Indian word meaning ‘honest and trustworthy’ and the Zonta emblem is a composite of a number of symbols.
Visit the Zonta International website for a detailed History of Zonta International
What do Zontians actually do?
Zontians volunteer their time, talents and energy to local and international service projects that advance the status of women and meet Zonta’s Objects.
Zontians attend monthly Club, Board and Committee meetings, depending on their degree of involvement. (See Our Club for details)
The time commitment to Zonta will vary from member to member, depending on whether they hold leadership positions and/or become involved in the activities outside of their club, at Area, District and International levels.
Clubs decide on their own service projects at a local level.
At an international level, the programs are developed and overseen by subcommittees of the Status of Women Service Committee, which reports to the Zonta International Board. International service projects are voted upon and approved by clubs at the biennial Zonta International Convention.
Visit the Zonta International website for more information on Zonta.
How is Zonta structured?
Individuals, called Zontians, are members of a Zonta club.
Zonta clubs are members of Zonta International, which is divided into 32 geographical districts around the world for ease of administration. Clubs in specific areas belong to a District.
At club, district and international level, democratically elected boards lead the organisation and provide direction for the future and decisions are made at monthly club meetings.
The next International Convention will be held in Chicago in 2020.