Zonta’s service programs are making a difference to the status of women but, because our fundraising is always going to be limited by our size, we also use advocacy to achieve more advances for women around the world and in our local communities.
Advocacy is the expression of support, for or opposition to, a cause, argument or proposal.
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The Zonta Club of Olympia chooses advocacy projects that are nonpartisan and nonsectarian. Our club has undertaken the following advocacy projects:
- Advocated for the passage of SJM 8012 urging the United States Senate to ratify the CEDAW treaty. Zonta International is now the ONLY International Women’s Non Governmental Organization which focuses solely on status of women issues under CEDAW Articles 1-16.
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- Advocated for the passage of EHB 1090 making Human Trafficking a felony in the State of Washington. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others.
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- Advocated for the passage of fourteen different bills affecting Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking or the Commercial Exploitation of Children and human trafficking. Washington State has received a score of 11 out of 12 in the Polaris Projects rating of Human Trafficking laws in 2012. Domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) is the commercial sexual exploitation of American children within U.S. borders.
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The Zonta Club of Olympia is a founding member of the Thurston County Coalition Against Trafficking, part of WA Engage. Our members are working with other organizations in the community to find solutions to combat all forms of human trafficking locally. One of the methods is educating community members about the problem. Our club has done this in the following ways:
- Beginning in 2009, we supported Washington Anti-Trafficking Engagement Days, sponsored by Washington Engage, both financially and with volunteer hours. The event was held at the same time as the start of the Washington State legislative session.
- Held vigils for the victims of human trafficking and domestic violence.
- Advocate for victims of domestic violence through support of local organizations including Safeplace, the Family Safety Center, and Family Education and Support Services.