Events, Webinars, Facts, Advocate, add voice

‘Bee’ plastic free and have a cup of tea

Where would we ‘bee’ without our pollinators?

You may think that 21st May 2022 is all about the Australian Federal Election – but after you have voted, take some time in nature to watch the bees, have a cup of tea and appreciate the world around you.

Yesterday 20 May was World Bee Day. Bees maintain our biodiversity and around 75 per cent of our food crops rely on bees and other pollinators. Let’s thank and protect bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, which are increasingly under threat from human activities. ‘Bee’ engaged with this quiz.

Today (21 May) is International Tea Day. Tea is the most consumed drink (after water) in the world and many countries rely on it for their income. Tea production and processing contribute to the reduction of extreme poverty (Sustainable Development Goal 1), the fight against hunger (SDG 2), the empowerment of women (SDG 5) and the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems (SDG 15). Who would have thought that drinking tea empowered women?

Tomorrow (22 May) is International Day for Biological Diversity. Be inspired by these women who are taking action to protect biodiversity through their leadership, art, and sheer determination. They all took a first step on their journey to protect biodiversity – what will yours be? Here are 22 actions to choose from.

Reducing plastic is a simple way we can help protect biodiversity. In March 2022 the UN mandated to develop a plastic pollution treaty by 2024 which is wonderful news. For practical tips on reducing plastic, get involved with Plastic Free July!

Events, Webinars, Advocate

It’s 2022 – what will we do?

Time to get off the beach and back into action!

Happy New Year! The summer break is becoming a distant memory, and now is the time to focus on the year ahead.

This year, there are many opportunities to share the messages around Zonta Says NOW to gender equality and climate action. Here are two that you can start planning for today!

International Women’s Day (IWD) – 8 March

The UN women’s IWD theme for 2022 is Changing Climates: Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. The theme recognises the contribution of women and girls working to change the climate of gender equality and build a sustainable future.

On Friday, 4 March 2022, UN Women Australia will be hosting five live events concurrently in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, and a live stream virtual event. These will all include a virtual interview with the indomitable Jane Goodall, so join online or in person if you can.

Many Zonta clubs are holding IWD events, so please support them too.

Zonta Says NOW and the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 66th Session – 14 to 25 March

The CSW is the most significant global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.

This year’s priority theme is Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.

Zontians from District 23 and the USA Caucus submitted a proposal to present a session on Zonta Says NOW in the NGO CSW/NY parallel event.

We have just heard that the proposal has been accepted! Our session will be from 8.00 am to 9.30 am on Tuesday 15 March EST – that’s New York time.

So please mark your calendars for 15 March from 8.00 pm to 9.30 pm in Western Australia, 10.30 pm to 12 am in South Australia, and 11 pm to 12.30 am in Victoria and Tasmania. Please share the save the date flyer below.

The free session will be on Zoom, and we’ll circulate registration details, program etc., when they are confirmed.

2022 – Bring it on!

Webinars, Advocate, add voice

Ending Violence Against Women

At Zonta Says NOW, we are working at both ends of a runaway train. We aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and close the gender equality gap. Together we strive to create a gender-equal, sustainable world by educating girls, advocating for women’s rights and inspiring more female leaders.

One way we advocate for women’s rights is through the Zonta Says NO to violence against women campaign. This campaign will be front and centre during the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence that runs from 25 November to 10 December.

In Australia,

  • one woman a week is killed by an intimate partner;
  • violence against women has increased during the pandemic; and
  • family and domestic violence is one of the most common reasons given for homelessness from people seeking help from specialist support services.

Zontians will be wearing orange to raise awareness of this critical issue, with many events, marches and social media campaigns planned during this time.

Two Zonta online events will also highlight issues and actions you can take.

Event 1: Zonta Says No to violence against women online summit on 30 November

This Zonta International event is on 30 November Chicago time (CST) and will consist of three sessions:

  • Violence against women is a men’s issue from 9:00 am to 10:30 am CST (WA 30/11/21 midnight , SA 1/12/21 2:30 am and Vic/Tas 1/12/21 3:00am)
  • Taking your Zonta Says NO action to the next level from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm CST (WA 1/12/21 4:00 am, SA 1/12/21 6:30 am, Vic/Tas 1/12/21 7:00am)
  • Young voices for change from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm CST (WA 1/12/21 9:00 am, SA 1/12/21 11:30 am, Vic/Tas 1/12/21 midday)

Register on Eventbrite today! Tickets are US$10 (for all three sessions), with proceeds going to the Zonta International Foundation for Women

Event 2: ZEDX – Changing men’s violent behaviour towards women on 25 November

The Zonta Club of Melbourne-on-Yarra is hosting this free online webinar. It starts at 7:00 pm AEST. (WA 4:00 pm, SA 6:30 pm)

Over the 16 days, the Zonta Club of Melbourne on Yarra will look at how culture in sport, male youth education and gender stereotypes can contribute to GBV in Australia and address how we can prevent violence before it occurs.

Zonta has always supported the victims/survivors of family violence, but we also need to prevent violence from occurring. Preventing violence means considering the responsibility of perpetrators, who are most commonly men. If men’s behaviour doesn’t change, we are never going to keep women and children safe.

This webinar panel discussion speakers are experienced practitioners and researchers who will provide insight into gender-based violence prevention from various perspectives, including academic evidence-based research, social workers in the field and facilitators of men’s change behaviour programs.

Tickets are free and available from Humanitix.

Create the world you want to live in by supporting these events and taking action to end violence against women!

Events, Webinars, add voice

Love Earth Festival – Zooming in on the Highlights

One Million Women know how to put on a show, even in a pandemic! This year’s LoveEarth Festival on 5 December was enjoyed by hundreds of women and men around the world – all on Zoom.

Hosted by Natalie Isaacs, the founder of 1MW and lively co-host Bernie Hobbs, the award-winning science writer and broadcaster with the ABC – this event had it all: connection with country, mind, heart and soul.

Highlights for me:

  • Auntie Bea Ballangarry’s welcome to country that prompted spontaneous acknowledgement of country around the world via the chat line
  • Alice Skye a young first nations singer-songwriter who nailed singing live on Zoom
  • Christiana Figueres, who led the historic Paris Agreement, and made me ferociously optimistic – I enjoyed the line ‘men created climate change, women are going to solve it‘,  (even though I knew it wasn’t entirely accurate!)
  • Paul Kelly’s song, Sleep Australia Sleep, got me Googling the lyrics as I was so touched by his words. (Think animal kingdoms…)

Sleep my country sleep, as off the cliff, the kingdoms leap, count them as they pass on by.  Our children might know them, but their children will not, we won’t know ’til it’s gone all the glory we’ve got.

Just like the boiling frog, as we go, we won’t feel a thing…

Paul Kelly from Sleep Australia Sleep
  • Craig Reucassel, the ABC TV climate crusader, who stressed the importance of taking on one new action at a time and making it a habit before taking on another action
  • Kathy Jetnei-Kijner a young poet who lives in the Marshall Islands that are only 2m above sea level and will be one of the first nations lost to rising sea levels. She read a poem she had written for her daughter to give her hope. I lost it with the line ”They’re marching for you baby…”
  • Missy Higgins singing ‘Going North’ and sharing how living in Broome in the north of Western Australia taught her that we are all part of the land – we are not separate from it
  • Margaret Kein Salamon a climate psychologist from New York who urged us to be non-judgemental, to talk about the climate emergency from a personal perspective. Don’t be scared to say how you feel. This prompted a flood of sharing on the chat line that was very moving. There are a lot of worried, angry, frustrated and frightened people out there – and also a lot who are motivated, optimistic and empowered to take action!
  • Mary Robinson – yes the first woman president of Ireland and climate champion. Such a wise, inspiring woman who urged us to take three steps  [In Step Two, I mentally inserted Zonta Says Now!]:

Step One: We must take the climate crisis personally and make it our own issue. 

Step Two: We must get angry and be active about those who are not doing enough – join an organisation

Step Three: Imagine the world we are hurrying towards; new jobs, new opportunities and make it a just transition.  Don’t neglect those who helped build the economies

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and climate champion
  • Yes, I was so inspired by Mary’s words, that I rapidly wrote down more of them!

Women globally have woken up to the fact that we have to be there at the table. 

There has to be parity of decision making. We need women to be half of the cabinet, half of the board in business.  We need women to be involved at every level – we need their voices.  

Yes, I say to all women globally, this is our time, our century and we must step up and take that responsibility… We must walk tall, take our place and make it the century where women’s leadership will lead us forward.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and climate champion
  • Uncle Kev Carmody, acclaimed singer-songwriter, rounded out the event with his haunting rendition of Earth Mother’s woman child.

Throughout the event Natalie and Bernie kept the virtual event personal, feeding off the comments in the chat line. One Million Women are doing some great work and their new initiative is the Marketplace where they showcase a range of sustainable products – check it out.

My verdict? A thoroughly enjoyable, educational and moving morning. Congratulations to the One Million Women team for putting it together!

Webinars, Videos, Events

TED Countdown

Did you catch the six hours of presentations of the TED Countdown on 10 October 2020? This amazing event brought together over 50 speakers that covered many subjects relating to how we can change climate change.

This event marked the global launch of a year of accelerating progress on climate action leading up to a major Countdown Summit in October 2021. The Summit will be held in Edinburgh in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow.

At COP 26 all 195 countries that signed on to the Paris Agreement will be asked to ramp up their commitments so that emissions can halve by 2030, and halve again by 2040, so that we have a chance of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

TED Countdown showed just how doable this is. There were scientists, artists, royalty, pop stars and even Pope Francis gave a heartfelt presentation. The event was in five sessions each hosted by high profile activists including Al Gore, Jane Fonda and Chris Hemsworth. The sessions focused on urgency, leadership, transformation, breakthroughs and action.

My favourite sessions? It is hard to choose…

  • Johan Rockstrom who describes how we have ten years to transform the future of humanity – or destabilise the planet.
  • Christiana Figueres, my hero, who personifies stubborn optimism.
  • Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, the mayor of Freetown in Sierra Leone who is planting two million trees a year.
  • Rose Mutiso who is helping African women become scholars and thought leaders.
  • Karen Scrivener who has pioneered a new form of cement that creates 40% less carbon emissions (Cement is responsible for 8% of the world’s carbon footprint!)
  • Sophie Howe, from Wales, who in her government job, advocates for future generations – that resulted in funds for a planned new motorway being diverted to expanding public transport and cycleways.
  • Prince William and Pope Francis were also not to be missed.

There are millions of amazing people taking action to transform our world to create a sustainable, fairer future. Through Zonta Says NOW we are too.