by Giorgia Confalone / Anna Mammitzsch
In the peculiar year of 2020, when so many events couldn’t take place due to the difficult situation of the pandemic, also advocacy actions were difficult to implement. However, Zonta thought outside the box and used the potential of social media to take virtual action during the "Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women" campaign. During the 16 days of activism, which annually take place from November, 25th to December,10th (the Human Rights Day), Zonta clubs all over the world have raised awareness of women’s rights violations, fighting violence against women and gender inequality. Also our e-club of Bavaria contributed via social media.
During the campaign period, our Instagram Account “Zonta E-Club Bavaria” (https://www.instagram.com/zonta_eclub_bavaria/) became not only the voice of the Union of the Germans Zonta clubs, but moreover, we participated in the virtual campaign “I SAY NO TO” organized by the Golden Z Clubs around the world.
On our instagram account, we posted informational content about the different forms of violence against women. Distributing information is the first step towards taking action. In addition, we spread awareness through the words and thoughts of our ambassadors, such as Katarina Barley and Ulla Schmidt, (both German politicians advocating putting gender-based violence on top of the political agenda, especially during the pandemic) as well as many other powerful and engaged women.
Since 2012, Zonta clubs worldwide illuminate iconic buildings in the color of orange during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The color orange symbolizes a brighter future, free of violence. It also serves as a means of demonstrating solidarity in eliminating all forms of violence (source: https://zontadistrict4.org/16-days-of-activism-unesco-lighting-the-world-orange/ ). We shared these images of buildings in German cities, such as Frankfurt and Munich through Instagram.
We also participated in the social media campaign “I SAY NO TO”. Every day, we posted different informational videos of many young girls and women, who filmed themselves at home while explaining the different forms of violence and to saying NO to it!
Summing up all these activities, we had a very positive impact. Our content has been shared by a lot of international Zonta accounts, such as Zonta Beirut, Zonta Mitchell, Neuchatel and many others. The Bavarian state minister for digital technology Judith Gerlach mentioned us in one of her post on Instagram and even a national German newspaper, Süddeutsche Junge Leute, referred to our platform and the campaign.
To find out more about Zonta Says No and the 16 days of activism, please visit: https://zontasaysno.com/zontasvision/campaign/