Day 1 November 25 is the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women - and it marks the first of our 16 days of activism to end violence against Women. Many female activists around the world are accomplishing wonderful tasks to help women. And still they are only a drop in the bucket of need that exists. But does that mean we shouldn't act because our contributions can't solve the big problems? If you happen to be the "drop in the bucket" that was helped by someone's activism, it can mean your ability to go to school, drink clean water, avoid being raped and/or trafficked, have a healthy baby and survive childbirth yourself - it can even mean the difference between life and death for you and your children. Our simple acts can lead us to connect with other like-minded people and/or organizations. In one of Nicholas Kristof's articles in the New York Times, he states, "there is a market failure - so many people who would like to help, and so many people who would benefit from that help, but there's a shortage of channels to connect them." Zonta International is our channel to connect us with the people that need our help. What we can't do as individuals, we can do as a group - and so we do our fundraisers and send at least 1/3 of our profits to the Zonta International Foundation - and the ZIF uses already established United Nations groups to provide services to women and children - channels. The Zonta Club of Douglas County's 2010 campaign is directed toward educating ourselves and others during these next 16 days about gender violence. Laurie Anderson, our PR Chairman, is writing articles for newspapers and we are designing a display window to be available in front of the Courthouse Parking Garage soon. I will be forwarding information to you on each of the 16 days. Hopefully, it will inspire you to learn other ways you as an individual can help your sisters at home and around the world. Please share whatever you learn (or relearn) during these next few days with at least one other person. Much love to you and yours as we kick off the 2011 Holiday season and make it our season of learning to be activists for women! Mary Lou Edwards Legislative Advocacy and Activism Chairman Day 2 Giving women of child bearing age in developing countries an education resulted in saving the lives of more than 4.2 million children worldwide in 2009: The British medical journal Lancet recently published a study paid for by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. American researchers analyzed 915 censuses and surveys from 175 countries tracking education, economic growth, HIV rates and child deaths from 1979 to 2009. The researchers found that for every extra year of education women had, the death rate for children under age 5 dropped by almost 10 percent. According to Nicholas Kristof ("Half the Sky"), around 101 million children around the world are not attending primary school. In most developing countries, it takes very little money to keep a child in school. In Europe, in order to graduate from what we think of as High School, students have to pick a social project to be involved in. One young lady from Germany went to Africa and learned that her allowance would keep a young child she met in school, so she dedicated that money to the child and kept her in school. The young lady went on to developing fund raisers, getting her friends involved in helping many other children stay in school. This young German lady won the Zonta International YWPA Scholarship a few years ago. Mother Teresa said, "It's not how much you give, but how much love you put into the giving that recreates the world." Day 3 Zonta International urges us to support the Center for Women's Global Leadership's (Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ) 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign. Since 1991 the campaign has worked to increase the visibility of violence against women as a human rights violation, a public health crisis and a threat to human security and peace worldwide. During the campaign period, we are urged to share successes and struggles with one another. Here are some of their suggestions for us to increase our knowledge and get involved locally: 1. Volunteer to work at a Crisis Hot Line or a local women's shelter - hear some of the stories firsthand. 2. Scan your wardrobe for going-to-work clothing that you can give to an organization that helps women through the job-finding and interviewing process. 3. When shopping, remember to include some non-perishable food items to donate to the local Task Force. 4. Be a good listener - you never know who might need your help. Ask for women in your own club to share stories about women they know who have personal knowledge of gender violence. 5. Set boundaries. Learn what you can do to improve your own chances for safety and inform your friends. 6. Be a vocal advocate against violence towards women and for the victims of violence. 7. Keep a list of resources - information is power - know where and how to report your concerns if you suspect a woman or child is at risk. 8. Violent behavior starts young - find out what is being done to protect our children from bullying behavior and get involved in preventing it. 9. Send a note of encouragement to a woman you know who is going through a difficult time 10. Hold a "non-event" party. Invite friends and neighbors to stay home, but donate what they would have spent on clothing, food, babysitters, drink, etc. to an organization that works to prevent and assist victims of violence. You can join an electronic discussion about the 16 days at https://email.rutgers.edu/mailman/listinfo/16daysdiscussion. Day 4 Some facts about gender violence (from the book, "Half the Sky" by Nicholas Kristof) - - Every year at least 2 million girls disappear because of gender discrimination. - In America every 1 out of 6 girls is raped and forced into prostitution. - More girls have been killed in the last 50 years because they were girls - than men were killed in all of the battles of the 20th century. - "Vanishing Females" - there are on average 107 men for 100 females in China; 108 men for every 100 females in India and 111 men per 100 females in Pakistan. Female babies are not valued and so do not receive proper medical care and nutrition; young girls are not allowed to go to school - instead they are sold into slavery as child brides or prostitutes by their families; women are considered chattel to be killed or bartered by their husbands or owners. - "The Girl Effect" - females make up the majority of the factory-oriented workplace (80% in China and 70% in East Asia) because they have smaller fingers, are more efficient, they work harder, are more obedient and owners can pay them less. MAO said "Women aren't the problem - they're the solution - women hold up half the sky." The new economic thinking is that women are the key to ending worldwide hunger. Microfinance/micro loans are helping them become more independent in developing countries. Empowering women disenfranchises terrorists. Strong, independent women raise sons who respect women. What we can do: Lobby for education and empowerment training for all girls everywhere. Fight "Stoic Docility" - the acceptance of a decree by a man - just because it came from a man. Day 5 The theme for this year's Center for Women's Global Leadership 16 days campaign is "Structures of Violence: Defining the Intersections of Militarism and Violence Against Women." CWGL envisions that this theme will be a multi-year project as they collect information about militarism and develop a strategy for future campaigns. They believe that we, as defenders of women's human rights, have a responsibility to look more closely at the structures in place that permit gender- based violence to exist and persist and that militarism is one of the key structures that perpetuates violence. Militarism is defined as "an ideology that creates a culture of fear and supports the use of violence, aggression, and/or military interventions for settling disputes and enforcing economic and political interests." We have all heard about rape being used as a tactic of war to drive fear and to humiliate women and their communities. Families of militarized men and women also experience violence in their homes as the result of soldiers' learned behaviors or emotional trauma. In any case, we now know the disturbing trend - that women suffer the most as targets of systematic sexual violence. Yet women hardly have any say when peace is negotiated - less than 10% of peace negotiators are women. Ten years ago, the UN Security council adopted Resolution 1325 to ensure women's equal participation in peace building, but its implementation has been too slow. This Resolution sets forth the basic, practical steps that all governments can take to make a real difference in women's lives, such as by recruiting more women in police forces and peacekeeping operations, ensuring that more women participate in peace negotiations, prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence, and by excluding perpetrators from armies and police forces after conflict. What we can all do today: To protest sexual violence against women in conflict and make Security Council resolution #1325 a reality now, sign the @SayNO_UNITE petition at http://ht.ly/1X3D2 @ UNIFEM. Day 6 What are you passionate about? Since you joined an organization whose mission is to improve the lives of women and children in the world, we can assume that you want to get involved doing that. There are so many organizations and projects out there and the need is so great - sometimes it's hard to choose just what direction to take. Some possibilities are listed below, but ultimately you alone need to figure out what moves you enough to get involved. - Trafficking of young girls and women. The Pikes Peak Club has fully embraced this subject and has been able to use the laws in El Paso County to do away with massage parlors. They have sponsored several seminars on the subject in Colorado Springs that are well worth attending. Also, the Polaris Project based in Denver transitioned into the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT) on Febr. 2, 2010. They strongly believe in the value of research and the need for better data on human trafficking. Their niche is community-based research and would welcome any volunteers. If you believe you have a trafficking tip to report please call the CoNEHT hotline at 1-866-455- 5075, or contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373- 7888. - The Paycheck Fairness Act. This act would close loopholes, strengthen incentives to prevent pay discrimination, and bring the Equal Pay Act in line with other civil rights laws. It would also prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about employers' wage practices or disclose their own wages. Sharon Roggy sent an e-mail with a listing of the senators in our state, and a sample letter to write to them, urging them to vote for the Act. If you need copies of this letter, contact me, Area 3 LAA Chairman, Alice Borodkin, or District 12 LAA Chairman, Sharon Roggy. - Sexism/Gender ParityThe White House Project. Female Candidates running for public office are frequently subjected to scrutiny not given their male counterparts, especially in the media. When women are attacked in the media with sexist language, voters view them as less empathetic, trustworthy and effective. Watch for the new documentary, "Miss Representation" starring Geena Davis and Rosario Dawson, which addresses women's under-representation in leadership positions. In an e-mail on November 1, Alice Borodkin asked us to sign-up for White House Project e-mails and read them. Sign up at www.thewhitehouseproject.org. - The intersection of militarism and violence against women - This is the 2010 theme for the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence - you can learn more about this theme at http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu/16days/home.html. Also, please support the UN Resolution 1325 which calls for parties in conflict to respect women's rights and to support their participation in peace processes. "Women in Black" is a world-wide network of women committed to peace with justice. They are actively opposed to injustice, war, militarism and other forms of violence and they wear black when they conduct peaceful protest marches. For more information about this network, visit http://www.womeninblack.org/. Day 7 World AIDS day exists to mobilize support for taking the steps necessary to end the global AIDS epidemic. AIDS is one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history, and is especially devastating to the world's most vulnerable human beings - mothers and their babies. Over 2 million children worldwide are HIV-positive and 50% of infants infected with HIV from their mothers die before their second birthday. The good news is that there is a proven solution for curbing mother-to-child transmission of HIV - testing and counseling for mothers, combined with anti-retroviral drugs. But it's all about the money - to make the solution possible, the world must demonstrate the will to fund it. Worldwide, the funds to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS infections can't keep up with demand. There are 7,000 new infections every day, which means two people are infected with the virus for every one starting treatment. Nations are tightening their foreign aid budgets as well as their internal budgets, making it harder to fund treatments for this epidemic. Some 33.3 million people worldwide are living with HIV and almost half of them need antiretroviral treatment. Only about five million of them (1/3 of those in need) are on ARV's and the demand for treatment is overwhelming budgets on all levels. The current treatment for AIDS consists of taking a cocktail of three pills twice a day. If you choose to take action to help end the AIDS epidemic there are several existing agencies that you can contribute to: UNAIDS - www.unaids.org. This joint UN program is the best known agency around the world. It is currently promoting a new approach to treatment, aimed at reducing treatment costs. Treatment 2.0 consists of taking one combination pill that is less toxic, longer-acting and easier to use. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) - www.theglobalfund.org. Founded in 2002, this public/private partnership attracts funds, invests them and distributes them via grants. To receive additional funds, grantees have to demonstrate results against defined performance targets. (RED) - www.joinred.com. This organization wants to turn the world red. They want 2015 to be an Aids Free Generation. Contributions arrive via people buying products from retailers who contribute to the organization (i.e. Starbucks, American Express, etc.). Go to the website to see all of the possibilities. World AIDS Campaign - www.worldaidscampaign.org. This organization has a "Light for Rights Campaign." They want us to dim our lights today - especially on important landmarks, to remember the devastating affect AIDS has had on us all - and when we turn the lights back on we illuminate the fundamental rights we all share. AIDS Healthcare Foundation - www.aidshealth.org. This is a community based HIVAIDS medical provider which serves patients worldwide regardless of their ability to pay. The US Fund for UNICEF - www.unicefusa.org. This is a global humanitarian aid organization with a mandate to provide children with humanitarian relief when they are faced with dire situations. Day 8 It is also the International Day for Abolition of Slavery. Nicholas Kristof, in his book "Half the Sky" identifies the three main abuses of women worldwide right now: 1. Sex trafficking and forced prostitution - modern day slavery 2. Gender-based violence (including honor killings and mass rape). As different cultures have emigrated into the U.S., they have brought some of these abuses with them. Children are being genitally mutilated and young women are being killed because of family "honor." 3. Maternal Mortality Rate. MMR now claims 1 woman per minute around the world. Causes include children having babies when their bodies are not developed enough; unclean birth sites; and ignorance about hygiene. In an earlier age, Cotton Mather once wrote about women and labor: "Preparation for death is that most reasonable and seasonable thing, to which you must now apply yourself", but in this day and age, with all of the modern medical possibilities, jumbo jets full of women still die during childbirth every day! What we can do: 1. Write to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon - UN peacekeepers have been ineffective in stopping the mass rapes using morality sanctions alone. These crimes are not cultural mores - they are tools of war - used to terrorize in countries at war like Darfur, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Pakistan and Iran. The worst is Eastern Congo where girls age 3 are being raped & mutilated, often killed. 2. In the U.S. - trafficking is within the Secretary of State's purview. Hillary Clinton has always been a strong supporter of women's rights, but she has a lot on her plate right now. Start a letter writing campaign - be "in her face" about making trafficking of young girls in and out of our country a primary focus. 3. Write to Eric Holden, the U.S. Attorney General about upholding the laws of this country regarding genital mutilation and honor killings that occur in the U.S. 4. Sign up for e-mail updates on www.womensenews.org and www.worldpulse.com. Both sites distribute information about abuses of women and sometimes advise on actions that readers can take. 5. Volunteer at Project Cure which collects, sorts and distributes medical supplies to the neediest countries. 6. Learn more about trafficking - attend the Pikes Peak Club's seminars. Day 9 International Day of Disabled Persons. Some history: The year 1981 was proclaimed the International Year of Disabled Persons by the UN. The slogan of IYDP was "a wheelchair in every home." This prompted the formulation of the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons adopted by the UN General Assembly in December, 1982. The International Decade of Disabled Persons ran from 1983 to1993. December 3 of each year since 1998 is identified by the UN as the International Day of Disabled Persons and each year has had a theme. Last year's theme was "Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world." This year's theme is "Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond." Women with disabilities experience double discrimination, placing them at higher risk of gender-based violence, sexual abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation. According to the UN publication, "Enable," women with disabilities face significantly more difficulties - in both public and private spheres - in attaining access to adequate housing, health, education, vocational training and employment; and they are more likely to be institutionalized. The UN recognizes the need to take into account and address the concerns of women and girls with disabilities in all policy-making and programming, and that measures at all levels are needed to integrate them into the mainstream of development. We have all seen the picture of Aisha on the cover of Time Magazine. At the age of 12, Aisha and her younger sister were given to the family of a Taliban fighter in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan. The gift was supposed to settle a dispute with the fighter's family - Aisha's uncle had killed a relative of the groom-to-be. Aisha and her sister were beaten frequently as punishment for their uncle's crime. Aisha ran away but her husband tracked her down and cut off her nose and both ears. If the Grossman burn Foundation in Calabasas, Calif. had not agreed to underwrite eight months of reconstructive surgery for her, Aisha would have had to return to the father who gave her away and live with her disability in shame for the rest of her life. She worries that her sister is now being abused in much the same manner. Women with disabilities experience inequality in hiring, promotion rates and pay for equal work, access to training and retraining, credit and other productive resources, and they rarely participate in economic decision-making. The World Bank reports that every minute more than 30 women are injured or disabled and that those 15-50 million women generally go unnoticed. Recognizing the greater risk these women then face both inside and outside the home, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) includes references to women and girls with disabilities under Rule 4 regarding Support services, Rule 6 on Education, and Rule 9 on family life and personal integrity. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities tries to promote gender equality and empowerment of women with disabilities. The UN General Assembly recently passed two resolutions on Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities, urging states to pay special attention to the gender specific needs of persons with disabilities (Resolution 63/150); and calls on Governments to enable persons with disabilities to participate as agents and beneficiaries of programs and policies promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and improving maternal health (Resolution 64/131). What we can do: 1. Call our representatives in Washington and tell them we want them to support the passing of CEDAW. 2. Join the virtual network of International Network of Women with Disabilities (INWWD) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their mission is to enable women with disabilities to share knowledge and experience, enhancing their capacity to speak up for their rights, and empower themselves to bring about positive change and inclusion in their communities. 3. Conduct an in-club workshop to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities, highlight the progress and obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies and promote public awareness of the contributions by persons with disabilities to their communities. Perhaps show a short film to raise awareness of disability issues. 4. Be thankful for your own good health; and be understanding of the disabilities of others. Day 10 Most of us have read, "Three Cups of Tea," Greg Mortenson's inspiring story about his transformation from a life of selfish-ness to self-lessness. His adventures led him into the high mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan where he gets lost and almost dies. People in one of the mountain villages save him and teach him patience (the tea ritual) and respect for their culture. When he asks how he can pay back the gift of his life, the village leaders tell him they need schools. Mortenson takes this on as his life's mission and builds several schools in the area, working out problems with different tribal leaders along the way. He was there when the Taliban arrived. As the Taliban and Al Qaeda have grown stronger over the years, one wonders whether the schools that Greg helped build survived. We have heard that the schools for girls have been especially vulnerable, often coming under attack while the brave girls escape to one of their homes to continue learning. Interestingly enough, Osama bin Laden's strategy for taking over the country focused on education - for boys alone of course. He built schools to teach his philosophy and paid students for their attendance and loyalty, and he ended up with an army of men educated to his way of thinking. In his book, "Half the Sky," Nicholas Kristof states that "the most effective change agents aren't foreigners but local women .... who galvanize a movement." He tells the true story of Mukhtar Mai who grew up in the village of Meerwala in southern Punjab, Pakistan. She doesn't have a clue as to when she was born and never attended school. When she was still young, a tribal council sentenced Mukhtar to be gang-raped as punishment for a trumped-up charge against her brother. The council knew that a woman humiliated by rape has no other recourse but suicide. It is the expected way for a woman to cleanse herself and her family of shame. Her family kept her from committing suicide and she turned her humiliation into rage. She reported the rape to the police and demanded prosecution. President Musharraf heard and sympathized and sent her the equivalent of $8,300 in compensation. Mukhtar invested that money in schools. Mukhtar told Nick (Kristof) that she believes in the redemptive quality of education - that the best way to overcome the attitudes that led to her rape was to spread education. Nick's articles brought Mukhtar money and too much fame. President Musharraf was embarrassed that the world knew about the rape and pressured her to stop talking, eventually kidnapping and isolating her. During this time President Bush had publicly praised Musharraf's "bold leadership" and was embarrassed by the harassment of Mukhtar. Condoleezza Rice pressured Musharraf to release her. Soon her passport was released and she was allowed to visit the U.S. where she was chosen by Glamour magazine to be their "woman of the year." The U.S. media interviewed her relentlessly, but didn't want to know anything about her school - they wanted her to tell what it was like being "gang-raped." Back home, she was urged to move her school to a big city, but insisted that her village was the place for it. She eventually attended the schools she built and changed her own family's thinking about "a woman's place" in this world. Her constant message is for parents to keep girls in school. With the help of contributions, Mukhtar has built a girls high school and founded a school for boys. She obtained a herd of dairy cows to sustain the schools and bought a school van that doubles as an ambulance to take pregnant women to a hospital. She built a school in a gang-ridden area and the gangsters sent their own children to it. She eventually persuaded the province to build a women's college to absorb her high school's graduates. What we can do: Contribute to: 1. Mukhtar Mai's aid group, the Mukhtar Mai Women's Welfare Organization. This group operates a 24 hour hotline for battered women, a free legal clinic, a public library and a shelter for victims of violence. 2. The Afghan Institute of Learning - www.creatinghope.org which operates schools and other programs for women and girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 3. The Campaign for Female Education - www.camfed.org - which supports schooling for girls in Africa. 4. Greg Mortenson's "Pennies" campaign to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. To Volunteer our time: 1. At a school near you. Schools are always in need of extra hands, mentors and tutors. 2. Teach English in one of Mukhtar Mai's schools. If you stay for a few months, she will provide room and board. The next time I think something is just "too hard" to accomplish, I will remember that Mukhtar Mai is still building schools in her village/province in Pakistan. What a remarkably brave woman. Day 11 the International Day for Social & Economic Development [Wikipedia defines Economic Development as the increase in the standard of living in a nation's population with sustained growth from a simple, low-income economy to a modern, high-income economy. Its scope includes the process and policies by which a nation improves the economic, political and social well- being of its people.] A country's economic development is related to its social/human development which includes health, education and quality of life. The UN observes the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on December 5, when it recognizes the work of volunteers and the importance of volunteering The day is meant to heighten people's awareness of voluntary contributions and to stimulate people to offer their services as volunteers, at home and abroad. Some UN ideas for activities on that day include: - Voluntary community projects. - Parades, marches or rallies - Award ceremonies for volunteers who make significant contributions to their communities. - "Time donation" campaigns that involve people pledging hours of voluntary service to specific projects. The object of these activities is to promote the UN's Millennium Development Goals to: - Help eradicate poverty - Achieve universal primary education - Promote gender equality and empower women - Reduce child mortality and improve maternal health - Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases - Help ensure environmental sustainability You can participate in many of these events through the World Volunteer Web which is operated by UN volunteers. "Development for all is central to the United Nations' mission. Together with security, and respect for human rights, it represents our core aspirations for a peaceful and better world." Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN. Advocacy suggestion for the day: Volunteer! Day 12 It is also the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. On December 6, 1989 a lone gunman entered Ecole Polytechnique (the engineering building) at the University of Montreal. He gunned down and killed fourteen women students, wounding 13 other students, all between the ages of 21 and 31. It was the worst single-day massacre in Canadian history - an act labeled "gendercide" because only women were targeted. Quebec had experienced a "quiet revolution" beginning in the 1960's when women began making strides in non-traditional occupations and educational programs. A growing number of them flocked to the School of Engineering at the University. While most men accepted and even welcomed this change, a minority felt themselves disadvantaged by attempts to encourage women's new roles and opportunities. Marc Lepine, a 25 year old Quebecker (and child abuse survivor) was one of those. As an adult he was a moody loner. He was rejected by the Canadian Armed Forces and was not accepted for admission by the School of Engingeering. He blamed his rejection on "affirmative action" policies and, in his suicide note, he said that "feminists have ruined my life - they want to retain the advantages of being women while trying to grab those of men." He included a list of 19 prominent Quebec women in non-traditional occupations (including the province's first woman firefighter and a police captain. He stated that "these women nearly died today - only the lack of time allowed these radical feminists to survive." Instead, he killed the ordinary women at the School of Engineering. The murders united many Quebeckers across generational, ethnic and gender lines - all turned out to pay their respects during the three days of mourning. Was Lepine's rampage the act of a "madman" as many have said, or was it a political statement? His act has strong echoes in the numerous acts of domestic murder and abuse still being committed by men fearful that "their" women will assert greater independence and move beyond traditional female roles. The group Montreal Men against Sexism spoke out, saying that "Men kill women and children as a proprietary, vengeful and terrorist act and they do so with the support of a sexist society and judicial system. The massacres will continue as long as we do not end sexism and sexist violence, along with all of men's alibis for them." A Toronto city councilor co-founded the White Ribbon Movement in 1991 to remember the victims of the massacre and protest against violence against women. In 1996 the Canadian Women's Internet Association founded the "Candlelight Vigil Across the Internet" to raise awareness of violence against women. The Coalition for Gun Control which lobbied for gun laws was also a direct result of the massacre. Gendercide Watch executive, Adam Jones, said that he had never seriously examined the gendering of violence in his society and around the world before those 14 women died. Thankfully, Lepine did not terrorize Canadian women into "staying put" in their traditional roles. Between 1989 and 1999, the proportion of women enrolled in Canadian engineering facilities rose from 13 to 19 percent, totalling nearly 9,000 women. How do we fight the acts of violence perpetrated by men against women? Do we loathe and denounce all men as possible abusers? Male-bashing will probably not solve our problems. Rape, incest and murder should not be quietly "medicalized" (treated as diseases), but should rather be openly exposed and prosecuted for the crimes they are. The Montreal Massacre should be viewed as a reflection of society in general and societal norms are not quickly changed......but we should certainly keep working on them. Day 13 It is also International Civil Aviation Day. The International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialized agency of the UN, was created on December 7, 1944. On the 50th anniversary of that date in 1994, the ICVO established International Civil Aviation Day. Its purpose is to create worldwide awareness of ICVO's global role in promoting the safety, efficacy and consistency of international air transport. This organization promotes cordial relationships and understanding among the peoples of the world and is a major contributor to the complex structure of international regulations that make air traffic safe. Zonta has its own aviation hero - Amelia Earhart - who was a member of ZI in the 1920's and 1930's. As stated in the Zonta Foothills Club's invitation to our annual Amelia Earhart luncheon (January 15, 2011), "Earhart encouraged women to expand their horizons by exploring occupations and holding positions beyond those traditionally held by women." The Zonta International Foundation offers 35 $10,000 fellowships to female Aerospace Engineering doctoral candidates each year and the CU campus in Boulder now has six of these recipients. What we can do: Make a reservation to attend the 2011 Amelia Earhart luncheon in Boulder. A part of the reservation fee goes to support the ZI Amelia Earhart Fellowship Fund. Make a donation directly to the AE Fund through the ZI Foundation. Day 14 More than 150 million children younger than 14 years old are child laborers (one in six children). These children do hazardous work in mines or on farms and others work as domestic servants in homes or workshops. Another 300,000 children under 18 are child soldiers used as combatants, messengers, porters, cooks, or sexual servants in 30 conflicts worldwide. They are most often forcibly recruited or abducted, or feel compelled to join because they are overwhelmed by poverty. Girls are particularly vulnerable. Some are trafficked as "mail order brides" and nearly 90% of domestic workers trafficked in West and Central Africa are girls. The numbers regarding child slavery and exploitation are staggering and there are not enough people fighting back. Go to www.change.org to sign a petition demanding that world governments finally pay attention and act to change this deplorable situation. **Hawaiian Starfish Parable** (I've changed the gender references): A woman goes out on the beach and sees that it is covered with starfish that have washed up in the tide. A little girl is walking along, picking them up and throwing them back into the water. "What are you doing little girl?" the woman asks. "You see how many starfish there are? You'll never make a difference." The girl paused thoughtfully and picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean. "It sure made a difference to that one," she said. Advocacy suggestion for the day: Pick a starfish to save - if we all save just one, it will make a big difference. Day 15 It is also International Human Rights Day. Human Rights defenders acting against discrimination, often at great personal risk to both themselves and their families, are recognized and acclaimed on this day. The realisation of all human rights by all human beings - social, economic and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights - is hampered by discrimination. All too often, when faced with prejudice and discrimination, political leaders, governments and ordinary citizens are silent or complacent. The valiant human rights defenders speak out against abuse and violations including discrimination, exclusion, oppression and violence. They advocate justice and seek to protect the victims of human rights violations. They demand accountability for perpetrators and transparency in government action. By doing so, they are often putting their own and their families' safety at risk. Some Human Rights defenders are famous, but most are not. We have learned about some of them during these last 16 days. Every one of us can be a human rights defender and I'm willing to bet most of us are already! You can make a difference by: - advocating non-discrimination, by organizing activities, raising awareness and reaching out to local communities on this day and all through the coming year. It's been nice to have specific subjects to research and report to you on each day. Maybe you'd like to know my sources for the information I've been sending: Zonta International Foundation's service projects. The Center for Women's Global Leadership - www.cwgl.rutgers.edu/16days/home.html. "Three Cups of Tea" (and the sequel "Stones to Schools," - books by Greg Mortenson. "Half The Sky" a book by Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn (thank you Kay Meyer for recommending that I read this book!); and www.kristof.blogs.nytimes.com for ongoing information about his efforts. www.change.org - e-mails keep me updated on current events. I gathered info here about child laborers. UN Smart Briefs - www.smartbrief.com - provide lots of information. www.UNAUSA.org - a UN group that I joined a few years ago. They send regular updates. I searched the web for titles of specific subjects like "International Day of Disabled Persons" and I thank Diane Twining for her e-mail reminding me about Bibi Aisha's story. Day 16 It is also International Anti-Corruption Day. Corruption: - The destruction of one's honesty or loyalty through undermining moral integrity or acting in a way that shows a lack of integrity or honesty. - Refers to those who use a position of power or trust for dishonest gain. - Undermines democracy, creates unstable governments, and sets countries back economically. - Comes in various forms (i.e. bribery, law-breaking without dealing with the consequences in a fair manner, unfairly amending election processes and results, and covering mistakes or silencing whistleblowers. Resolution 58/4, passed by the UN General Assembly on October 31, 2003, designated Dec. 9 as Anti-Corruption Day. It is the first legally binding, international anti-corruption instrument that provides a chance to mount a global response to corruption. Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies - no country, region or community is immune. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime organizes campaigns each year on Dec. 9 to raise awareness of corruption and its negative impact on individuals and society. All of society benefits from functioning basic services. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a statement recognizing some significant achievements against corruption during the past year, lauding G20 leaders who last month adopted a landmark Anti-Corruption Action Plan to promote an open, rules-based environment worldwide. She stated that the U.S. has made "unprecedented strides over the past year to enforce our own anti- corruption laws and to ensure our companies do not practice bribery or unfair practices in countries where they operate." She said that "corruption fosters a culture of graft and impunity that undermines the ability to operate in our interconnected world, and called on all countries to cooperate to advance our anti-corruption agenda and institutionalize the highest standards of transparency." What we can do: Any activity that encourages people to fight against corruption and fraud in their communities. Make and distribute posters and other materials with the logo: CORRUPTION Your "NO" Counts!!