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During the 16 Days of Activism in the fall of each year, all Zonta clubs and districts are encouraged to take part in the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign and to take local, national, and international actions to influence the creation and implementation of laws, as well as change gender-based attitudes and behaviors to end violence against women.

The 16 Days of Activism take place from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day.

How did it start?

On 25 November 1960, sisters Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal, three political activists who actively opposed the cruelty and systematic violence of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, were clubbed to death and dumped at the bottom of a cliff by Trujillo’s secret police.

The Mirabal sisters became symbols of the feminist resistance, and in commemoration of their deaths 25 November was declared International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Latin America in 1980. This international day was formally recognised by the United Nations in 1999. Source

Zonta Says NO! Campaign – Nov. 25 – Dec. 10

16 Days of Advocacy Toolkit – Detailed actions for clubs to take each day.

Gov. David Ige signed SB 1037 into law on July 2, 2019. The bill was introduced by the Zonta Club of Hilo and sponsored by Hawai‘i State Sen. Lorraine Inouye. This bill strengthened the language in the domestic violence statute on strangulation. In attendance for the signing were U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, a founding member of the Women’s Legislative Caucus; Heather Kimbell, Zonta Club of Hilo Advocacy Chair; and members of the Hawai‘i Women’s Coalition. SB 1037 amended the offense of abuse of family or household member by amending the type of physical abuse that constitutes strangulation to include blocking the nose and mouth or applying pressure to the chest. The bill also clarified that infliction of a visible bodily injury is not required to establish the offense.
In October, Zonta Club of Hilo participates in the Annual Domestic Violence Family Peace Walk and Vigil in Hilo. This event unites the community to recognize those who lost their lives due to domestic violence and to raise community awareness and advocacy during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence includes physical, emotional, mental, financial, and sexual abuse by an intimate partner against another. It results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.
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