Zonta urges reauthorization of bill protecting women
Every year at this time, Zonta International proclaims 16 days of activism against violence directed toward women. During this period, Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, the organization’s global initiative – “Zonta Says No” – directly addresses this topic to create awareness and reduce domestic and other types of violence, still unfortunately a huge problem worldwide.
This year, Zontians in the United States have adopted a new and important goal with respect to the U.S. legislature. The Violence Against Women Act, first passed in 1994, expired in September; a bill to reauthorize it (HR 6545) was introduced in Congress in July, but has so far not received enough Congressional support to pass.
The legislation as written supports continuing essential programs and services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
According to Carol Gestwicki, chair of the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva’s Service and Advocacy Committee: “The bill needs motivated lawmakers if it’s going to pass. We are asking islanders to take a moment and contact their member of Congress.”
There is a compelling reason to act as the bill will come up for a vote very soon.
Zonta will have an information table set up outside of Bailey’s General Store on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The club will offer information on Zonta, signs and handouts, as well as postcards that can be mailed to legislators.
For Sanibel and Captiva, the member of Congress is Francis Rooney. Write to him at 120 Cannon HOB, Washington, DC 20515 or call 202-225-2536. The local office is at 1039 S.E. Ninth Ave., Suite 308, Cape Coral, FL 33990 or call 239-599-6033.
The Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva is a service organization of professional women working together to provide hands-on assistance, advocacy and funds to empower women and girls on the islands, in Lee County and around the world through Zonta International. For more information, visit www.zontasancap.com.