At the advent of zonta’s 16 days of activism campaign commencing from 25 nov every year since 2012, a webinar was arranged by dist 25 advocacy co-chairman, nilufer zafarullah, on 23 november 2020, at 8pm in dhaka bangladesh. The two hour long event was comprised of two sessions and it was inaugurated by dist governor errick elavia who emphasised the importance of zonta’s goal to say no to all gender discriminations in the society.
The theme of the webinar was “ending violence against women & girls. If not you, who?” And was attended by zonta dignitaries, invited as panellist.
Zonta int. Liaison for dist 25, fernanda gallo freschi elaborated the causes that lead to gender violence, global climate change and the recent covid-19 pandemic being the main factors.
The impact of emotional and physical domestic violence understood to be intimate partner and family violence was explained by zi advocacy chairman, teresa lin, that it could be devastating and also result in loss of life. She further added that although domestic violence originate at home it could also spill over to work place through the stress and trauma it caused. Recent statistic relate that during corona lockdown domestic violence was on the rise due to lack of social activities and financial pressures which increased rifts within families.
As zonta’s ongoing projects and programs, specially those in partnership with united nations and its agencies, ziun committee chairman, pamela morgan expressed her views on un sdg goals and the involvement of zonta with goal no 5, working on gender equality and women’s empowerment which are not only fundamental human rights but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Zi past director & rr for dist 25 zi foundation endowment fund enlightened the webinar attendees on zonta’s official charitable foundation which has made gender equality a reality for women and girls worldwide. She ensured that all donations and support would create a robust fund to grow as years pass and help zonta to maintain projects,programs and scholarships and enhance the level of service to meet future needs.
Since zonta advocacy efforts adheres to the slogan ’say no to violence against women and girls’, working together with the un and other international agencies, action aid bangladesh launched with zonta, the campaign to raise awareness of women’s rights violation and fight gender inequality. Ms farah kabir, country director and mr abdul alim, head humanitarian response of action aid bangladesh, presented their report on the impact of covid-19 on the refugee women in the rohingya camps and their response.
The first session concluded with audience participation before following session began with reports of advocacy activities of zonta clubs in district 25. Despite the pandemic situation the clubs have continued to keep the projects running to render help to women and girls who were in dire needs.
Dist 25 area o2 director momtaz chowdhury gave her report and remarks of activities undertaken by clubs in bangladesh and nepal.
Dist advocacy chairman, marlene abayewardene and vice area 01 director, mahrukh karbari also presented activity reports of clubs in srilanka & mumbai respectively.
In conclusion dist. Vice area 02 director, meera jyoti thanked the zonta dignitaries and the guest speakers for attending the webinar with their powerful presentations. The interaction amongst everyone those present made the webinar a successful event as the program imparted an important dimension to what is potentially a very crucial discussion for eliminating gender inequality as zonta envisions a world where no women will live in fear 0f violence.