Service and Advocacy

The focus of Zonta Service and Advocacy is improving the status of women and of women’s human rights.

Advocacy is the expression of support for or opposition to an issue in order to influence law making or general attitudes. Advocacy is the business of every Zonta member.

Service is a hands on approach to issues which impact on women lives. Our club has a long history of service and advocating for women’s rights at community and wider levels.

Advocacy was introduced as a mandated Standing Committee by Zonta International in 2006. Our Service and Advocacy Committees exist to support all club members to be advocates for women and girls and to coordinate and manage projects.

Responses to Legislation and Discussion papers

Recent activities include, responses to the Attorney General’s Draft Paper on Domestic Violence and to the Draft Decriminalisation of Prostitution Bill.

Domestic Violence

A major initiative of Zonta world wide is the Zonta Says No to Violence campaign. Our club has responded in a number of ways.

  • Eastern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service

We provide practical hands on support such as gardening, taking responsibility for the donations shed, coordinating the OzHarvest food donations, donating and wrapping Christmas presents for women and their children, running workshops according to Zonta members’ expertise, applying for grants for funds and equipment to support  educational programs, providing goods donated by Baker’s Delight, donating clothing, linen, household equipment and emergency food supplies, arranging for sponsorship or ongoing support from businesses and retailers, holding regular morning teas for migrant and refugee women and fundraising for significant projects. Working at the centre gives members the opportunity to increase their understanding and to strengthen their ability to advocate on domestic violence issues.

  •  Walk in My Shoes

Walk-in-My-ShoesThe Walk in my Shoes Project celebrates the courage of women who walk out of domestic violence. Our campaign has a positive focus aimed at ending domestic violence and providing the public with a deeper understanding of the issue.  We have collected personal, inspirational stories from women who have left a situation of domestic violence.

The first stage of the project was to provide creative writing workshops for women at the Eastern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service. This was followed by an installation of women’s shoes, each with a story attached. The installation travelled to different parts of South Australia under the sponsorship of various Zonta clubs, Soroptimists, City Councils and BankSA. It has since been taken up by clubs in Western Australia.

The second stage was the publication of a booklet containing a selection of the stories. The stories have given the writers an opportunity to celebrate their success and be recognised for their courage.  We hope that it also inspires and gives confidence to women who believe they can’t leave.
You can read the stories here.

The third stage was to distribute the books to influential members of the community and to relevant organisations. We asked these people to use the books to raise awareness of domestic violence in our community. The books can be purchased by contacting membership@zontaclubofadelaide.org.au

 Zonta Breast Care Cushions

Zonta Breast Care Cushions provide comfort to women in the post-operative period after breast surgery. We hold working bees on a regular basis with help from other women in the community. The cushion is used for support while sleeping, protection while shopping or from pressure of a seat belt. This is a District 23 project and many clubs throughout South Australia, Victoria, Northern Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania are involved distributing the cushions to hospitals and clinics. Our club has made and delivered over 6500 breast cushions to St Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, to date. Fundraising is necessary to cover the cost of materials. We have received numerous thank you cards and donations from women who have been grateful to have received such support.

 Zonta Birthing Kits

The United Nations World Health Organisation estimates that 585,000 women die annually in childbirth. Developing countries account for 99% of these deaths. For every woman who dies in childbirth, another 30 women incur injuries and infections, many of which are often painful, disabling, embarrassing and lifelong.

The Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) has researched, developed and is now supplying birthing kits that provide for clean birthing conditions. 60 million women give birth each year with the assistance of a traditional birth attendant or with no assistance at all. These women need a birthing kit. The Zonta Club of Adelaide works with students from Adelaide High School and Seymour College to assemble birthing kits. Fundraising is also necessary as each kit costs $3.00. The kits are dispatched to places like Nigeria where they are distributed through trained staff to birth attendants in local communities. Birthing Kit cards at a cost of $4 can be obtained by contacting membership@zontaclubofadelaide.org.au. Each card bought potentially saves two lives – mother and baby.

Women’s Community Centre (South Australia)

The Centre situated at 64 Nelson St, Stepney is the only remaining women’s community centre in South Australia. Our club provides funding for courses and legal advice, support in the Op Shop and for a range of other activities.

Women who are Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Hope’s Cafe is a joint project between Uniting Communities and the Clayton Wesley Uniting Church. Our club funds child care for mothers attending English Language courses, support in writing visa applications and other practical support.

Community Events

Our club supports and participates in events run by like-minded organisations.

International Service and Advocacy Projects

One third of our annual fundraising goes to Zonta International to support the international projects and awards.

Current Zonta International projects for the 2016-2018 biennium are:

  • Towards Elimination of Obstetric Fistula and Reduction of Maternal and Newborn Mortality in Uganda
  • Let Us Learn Madagascar: An Integrated Program for Adolescent Girls
  • Respecting the Rights and Responding to the Needs of Adolescent Girls in Niger  (Child Marriage)
  • Creating Sustainable Foundations for Addressing Human Trafficking and Unsafe Migration of Women and Girls in Nepal