Zonta Club gives women a voice

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Zonta Club of Invercargill president Carla Werder presents the club's new official membership certificate and gavel. Photo: Petrina Wright

EMPOWERING women through service and advocacy is the goal of the newly-formed Zonta Club of Invercargill.

Invercargill resident Carla Werder helped set up the Invercargill club with help from Lynette Grave from the Zonta Club of Metropolitan Dunedin.

“I am over the moon to get a group of like-minded women from different walks of life come together with a common purpose.”

The club was started in March with four members, and had now grown to 15, made up of a variety of women including an accountant, farmer, teacher, office administrator, business owner and semi-retiree.

Mrs Werder said what appealed to her about Zonta and what made it different from other service clubs was its added focus on advocacy for women who did not have a voice.

Zonta International is a global organisation which started 100 years ago in Chicago, in the United States, designed to empower women through service and advocacy, standing up for women’s rights around the world.

It now had more than 30,000 members belonging to 1200 Zonta Clubs in 67 countries who volunteer their time, skills and support to local and international service projects, awards and scholarship programmes.

The Invercargill club was one of 30 Zonta clubs in New Zealand.

Mrs Werder said each club was required to contribute towards a local project, national project and international project. The national project was supporting PADA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Aotearoa) which raised awareness and facilitates best practice in perinatal mental health and well-being for families.

Mrs Werder said being the mother of a 4-year-old, the project was one close to her heart.

In the short time Zonta Club of Invercargill had been operating, it had already provided support to groups in Southland, including Spirit Army, Pregnancy Help, Invercargill Women’s Refuge, Loss and Grief Centre and St Vincent de Paul.

Members met on the second Wednesday of the month and new members were welcome.

For more information email invercargill@zonta.org.nz

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