Zonta International’s District 25 sets the tone for Women in Leadership and Equal Opportunities, New Opportunities.

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Women in Leadership Shaina NC, Dolly Thakore, Zonta, Mayor of Mumbai, Kishori Pednekar

It was all about women and equal opportunities at the recently held Zonta International conference spearheaded by District 25 under the leadership of the Governor Errick Elavia. He along with Zontians Host Clubs’ Presidents Ztn Siddha Desai, Members of Zonta Club of Bombay I and Ztn Arnavaz Kapadia, Members of Zonta Club of Bombay III set the tone for some serious food for thought. Zonta District 25 is a part of Zonta International with Member Countries India, Bangladesh, Nepal & Sri Lanka.

Zonta International is a Classified Service Organization of Executives in Business and Professions working together to Empower Women through Service & Advocacy. It isa non-governmental, non-political, and non-sectarian organization. Zonta International Head Quarters are in Chicago, USA. Zonta’s 100-year history speaks of its commitment at International, District and Club levels to improve legal, political, economic, educational, health, social and professional status of women. Zonta District 25 Conference was held December 2021 in Mumbai, India and it was the righ platform to deliberate on women’s issues in South Asia and to get directions for actions by Zonta Clubs in four member countries India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The Conference Theme was: Equal Opportunities – New Opportunities. Speaking at the occasion, Mr Errick Elavia, articulately stated that, Zonta international is a powerful and committed organisation for women empowerment and women in leadership. His District 25 is totally focused on working in sync with the male counterparts to walk with women and not ahead or behind her, but beside her. He proudly says as the first ever male governor of Zonta worldwide he truly believes in the statement `He for She.’

Zonta International President Ztn Sharon Langenbeck’s Statement of 2020-2022 Biennium for ‘Climate Change is – for Envisioning a sustainable and Gender- Equal Future – Climate Change is an issue of Human Rights’. This was the Fourth Conference in Mumbai to celebrate 30th Anniversary ofZonta District 25. The First Governor was Ztn Mitha Shroff of the very First Club of Zonta District 25 for Founding Biennium 1990-1992. After 30 years, Errick Elavia is the First Male District Governor not only of Zonta District 25, but also in the 100 years history of Zonta International. With the Centenary of Zonta International in 2019, Host Clubs – Zonta Club of Bombay I had celebrated 60 yearsand Zonta Club of Bombay III had celebrated 40 years.

Zonta International had Representatives Ztn Fernanda Gallo-Freschi of Italy, ZI Dignitary Ztn Dilruba Ahmed of Bangladesh, Past District Governor Ztn Shahnaz Nathani of Sri Lanka and I, District Governor Errick Elavia of India. The Mayor of Mumbai, Smt Kishori Pednekar, was the Chief Guest at the event. She spoke powerfully on women rights and opportunities. The event was also attended by Shaina N C, fashion designer, politician and member of Prasar Bharati as guest of honour along with Indian theatre personality Dolly Thakore, who graced the occasion.

Speaking at the occasion, Ms. Diana Bhagalia, Partner, 7th Heaven Tours and Travels and press coordinator for Zonta District 25 said, “I came to know about Zonta, through my professional association with District Governor Znt. Errick Elavia. The ideal which Zonta stands for – “Empowering Women through Service & Advocacy” appealed to me on a very deep level, and I immediately knew that this organization & its cause is something I have to join hands with and do my small bit to make a difference in the lives of women and girls in our society, city, state and country. I am most passionate about “Equal Opportunities” for the girl child & want to direct my services and resources to work with schools & colleges, firstly towards sustainable education opportunities for the girl child & secondly to bring the younger generation into the Zontian Umbrella, so that the good work of the organization can be spread far & wide.”

About author
a senior journalist, clarity coach, classical dancer, panel moderator and an eternal optimist.
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