Media Matters for Women Sierra Leone
Great News! Media Matters for Women (MMW), the charity of one of our members, Sharon Bylenga, has been granted charitable status in the UK!!
MMW was set up in Sierra Leone in 2013 and is partnered with MMW in the US which is a non-profit organization established in 2010. Their mission is to achieve gender equality and empower impoverished African women and girls by creating a new kind of media that transforms how women and girls living in rural areas receive, use and share information. MMW use podcasts to get important information out to illiterate women and girls who would have no other way of accessing this information and have have established Listening centres with Youth Advocates who play the podcasts to the women and girls. These podcasts cover difficult issues such as gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health. By harnessing free file-sharing on mobile phones, MMW has replicated what already happens in Africa’s music-sharing culture, but instead of music, they deliver crucial information to women and girls.
To find out more go to their website https://www.mediamattersforwomen.org or contact them by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lesley Abdela receiving the Zonta Centenary Award
Presented by Anna Hummel at the centennial gala celebration dinner in London on 8th November 2019.
PRESS RELEASE: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Unsung Hero Award won by Jan Hancock
Prison Volunteer Jan Hancock has won the centenary award for ‘Unsung Hero’ presented by the Zonta Club of Guildford for her work with women prisoners. The award will be presented at a celebration dinner tomorrow evening November 6.
President Olive Jones said: ‘Jan is part of the team of volunteers working through the chaplaincy helping women in prison. Through Zonta’s local service work with women in prison we soon became aware of this essential work not only in helping them get through their time in prison but in preparing them for life outside. Jan is definitely an unsung hero dedicating so much time to this essential support work.’
Jan visits the prison weekly, mentoring prisoners. She is also a part of the team which delivers the Sycamore course on Victim Awareness. This is an essential part of restorative justice, with prisoners learning to accept responsibility for their crimes, their impact on victims and on the community.
Jan said: ‘I’m part of a large team which is passionate about what we do. The team members come from all walks of life and bring a huge range of experience. It is a privilege to be a part of it. I’m delighted to accept the award as much on behalf of the team as on my own behalf.
PRESS RELEASE: Thursday, October 30, 2019
Distinguished Journalist and Fighter for Gender Balance, Lesley Abdela MBE Awarded Zonta UK Centenary Award
Lesley Abdela has been unanimously selected to receive the Zonta Centenary Award presented to a woman who has distinguished herself in working to improve the lives of women. She has fought tirelessly for women’s representation in the UK and other Parliaments, and for women’s representation at top tables in all Peace negotiations after deadly conflict, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosova, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Aceh/Indonesia.
The award will be presented at the centennial celebration dinner in London on 8th November 2019.
Anna Hummel, UK Area Director of Zonta, said “From forming the all-Party 300 group for Women In Politics & Public Life which challenged our political parties to provide far better representation of the nation’s women in Parliament, to working in war-torn areas campaigning successfully to ensure peace-making and peace-building has the involvement of women, Lesley’s work has taken her to over 50 countries.
- Training women in Central and Eastern European countries to participate in the democratic politics after the disintegration of the old Soviet bloc.
- Facilitating a declaration on peace building with women from countries in conflict aboard the mile-long United Nations Beijing Express train travelling from Warsaw to Beijing for the 4th UN World Conference on Women.
- Successfully supported advocacy for women in post-deadly-conflict countries to be included as part of post-conflict resolution and democracy-building.
Nor was such work always risk-free. She had, for example, to dodge mortars in Baghdad.
Speaking as the news broke that 18 UK women MPs are standing down - Lesley said: “Because of my long-term activities and support for more women in Parliament I am outraged that most of the women MPs are stepping down from parliament due to the abuse and threats they receive. They have expressed understandable unwillingness to submit themselves and their families to any more threats. This is likely to have a detrimental impact in the future, inhibiting women from coming forward as parliamentary candidates in the future. This situation cannot be allowed to continue. Political Party leaders must play a more proactive role in stamping this out.”
Lesley Abdela can be contacted at: email@example.com
PRESS RELEASE: Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Zonta Celebrates 100 Years of working for women
The Zonta Club of London City, London 2 and Guildford are celebrating the centennial anniversary of Zonta International on 8th November 2019
The Gala Dinner will be held at The Andasz Hotel in Liverpool Street to raise funds for a refuge at Oasis Community Housing for vulnerable young women experiencing homelessness and also to continue the work of Zonta International Foundation, Ending Child Marriage.
The dinner will also be the scene for the UK Zonta clubs’ prestigious centennial anniversary award.
Anna Hummel, UK area director of Zonta said: “I’m so proud of the work Zonta does. In the UK we focus on supporting women with real problems, in prison, in slavery and in need. Internationally we have a distinguished record in so many areas whether it’s massively reducing the number of children dying in infancy in Rwanda through lack of maternal health care, or giving girl children the chance of an education in Madagascar. As well we support distinguished young women leading the field in technology, aerospace, business and public affairs.”
Zonta International is a worldwide organization that has empowered women and girls through service and advocacy for 100 years. It was founded in 1919 in Buffalo, New York, by a group of forward-thinking women who were not satisfied with the predominantly social nature of many women’s organizations. Instead, Zonta’s founders envisioned a women’s service organization that would advocate for laws and policies that ensure gender equality and help every woman and girl realize her full potential. Through continuous engagement over almost 10 decades, Zonta International has become a respected and reliable agent of civil society. Zonta International is a non-governmental organization with general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Zonta International promotes and strives to protect the human rights of all women and girls and reduce the incidences of violence against them. Since 1923, Zonta has provided more than US$40.9 million to empower women and expand their access to education, health care, economic opportunities and safe living conditions. Zonta’s nearly 1,200 clubs support local and regional initiatives in 63 countries worldwide.
For details of Zonta’s celebration event : https://zontacityoflondon.org/charity-gala
For information about Zonta’s International Work : https://foundation.zonta.org/
For information about Oasis Community Housing No 3 Refuge: https://www.homeless.org.uk/homeless-england/service/oasis-housing-no-3-peckham
YWPA Winner 2019 - Florence Marks
Florence, second year student at The Sixth Form College Farnborough recently recenved the Young Women in Public Affairs Award from Club President Sue Doughty. Second year student Chloe Williams was the runner up. Florence also won the first prize in the YWPA District Awards, which was just one of three prizes to be won in District 29. The district includes 74 clubs in four areas and nearly 1,800 members from across Europe. She received €1,500 and an invitation to the Zonta Conference in the Netherlands in early October.
Florence said "I'm immensely proud to have won Zonta's Young Women in Public Affairs Award. Zonta is an international organisation that promotes female equality, respect and security from local grass roots programmes to global initiatives at the UN. To be associated with such an inspiring cause is amazing. I am very thankful to the Zonta officials who came into my College, my personal tutor Russell for encouraging me to enter, and my inspirational and supportive teachers.
Pictured below is Florence Marks (second right) and Chloe Williams (middle left)