The bulletin of Zonta Club of London II
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The Zonta Grapevine

Issue 9

In this edition...

From the President...

Happy March, fellow Zontians and supporters! I start by congratulating the Club on the February dinner meeting, with special guest speaker, barrister Charlotte Proudman. Unfortunately, I happened to be in Paris for work, but I heard Charlotte’s talk was fabulous.

The Amelia Earhart dinner is one of the highlights of our year also. Many thanks to Britt for organising the five young women who are studying their PhDs in the UK in engineering or science, as a result of their Zonta Amelia Earhart scholarships. We were truly honoured to host you.

The Board will meet on Monday, 7 March before the next Club meeting and it will be the last Board meeting before our annual general meeting in April.

If any Club members would like anything discussed at Board level before we take to all the Club, please do not hesitate to email

The early bird date has now passed for the Zonta International Convention in Nice. If you’d still like to attend, please still book at their website

Accommodation can either be booked on their website, or you can do your own research and book independently. Hotels are booking fast, so get in quick!

Rehana Raja
The Year Ahead...
This is our programme so far for 2016. This may be subject to change. 
  • Wednesday, 9 March – Dress for Success Programme Manager – Fionnuala Shannon
  • Wednesday, 13 April – AGM
  • Wednesday, 11 May – Guest speaker, to be confirmed
  • Wednesday, 8 June – Nancy Durrell-McKenna, SafeHands for Mothers
  • Wednesday, 13 July – Young Women in Public Affairs winners
  • August – Summer event
  • Wednesday, 14 September – Business meeting
  • Wednesday, 12 October – Zonta London Club member, to be confirmed
  • Wednesday, 9 November – Guest speaker, to be confirmed
  • December – Christmas event
Other important dates
Zonta Club of Guildford Mother’s Day morning tea – Saturday, 5 March
Zonta International Nice Convention – 2-6 July 2016
International Women's Day - 8 March

The Club acknowledges that our next meeting is the day after International Women’s Day, which is also Zonta International Rose Day. For those who are not Zontians, the yellow rose is a symbol of Zonta, and is what we present to new members of Zonta and any guest speakers.

Read more here about the history of the Zonta Rose.

This year’s theme is Pledge for Parity. There are many events in London, which you can check on the official IWD website.

If anybody wishes to join our member Angela Yin, as well as Annie Lennox, Bianca Jagger and Helen Pankhurst at Care International UK’s Walk in Her Shoes event on Sunday, 6 March, do sign up here.

Next meeting - Wednesday, 9 March

Dress for Success London is a charity which our lovely member Stella Okuzu is a part of. She has invited the Programme Manager Fionnuala Shannon to come and speak at our next meeting.  Dress for Success is a global non-profit organisation which helps disadvantaged women get back to work, including with clothing, interview coaching and CV-writing.

Read more about Dress for Success here.

Zonta Club of London II was proud to present...Charlotte Proudman
Angela Yin with barrister Charlotte Proudman
Zontian Angela Yin and barrister Charlotte Proudman
The junior barrister who made headlines last year attended our meeting in February to give us her perspective on violence against women, female genital mutilation, prostitution and why quotas matter at the Bar and in the judiciary.

We at Zonta are a converted audience when it comes to women’s rights, but even many of us were shocked at the level of violence against women in this country.  85,000 (nearly 10 per hour) women are raped each year in England and Wales, with only 2,348 convictions recorded each year.

This does not include the two women each week who are killed by their current or former partners.

Charlotte spoke to us in some detail about the area of law in which she practises, which is family law. She outlined cases she’s worked on, including the criminalisation of women and children who do not have the means to escape a life of marginalisation and violence and then are criminalised when they turn to prostitution. She advocates the “sex buyer law”, which started in Sweden, that criminalises men who buy sex, but not women who are prostitutes.

She then concluded by stating the judiciary and the Bar needs to enforce quotas that ensure equal representation for women, because these are the people who ultimately decide the fate of women and children who end up in the justice system through disadvantage. She said the state has an obligation to ensure women do not have to resort to prostitution to survive, especially as many have already lived a life of violence, poverty and disadvantage, without adding a criminal record to the mix.

Many thanks, Charlotte, for shining a line on these issues. After listening to her talk, many of us are more committed to Zonta than ever.
Amelia Earhart Fellow dinner - Friday, 12 February
District Governor Marijke Jongbloed attended our Amelia Earhart dinner on 12 February. We were pleased to honour the memory of legendary Zontian Amelia Earhart by hosting a lovely dinner for her intellectual progeny.  We were all inspired to hear these four young women speak about what Zonta's support meant to them to encourage them to study science and engineering to doctorate level.

The UK Amelia Earhart fellows 2015 were (L-R seated in the fourth picture) Masha Folk, Tafara E Makuni, Camille Bilger and Natalia Ortiz. Eda Dogan was unable to attend unfortunately.

More candid photos can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Britt Gustawsson hosted the evening, alongside our Governor Marijke Jongbloed. Thank you for such a lovely evening!
Zonta Club of Guildford's Mothers Day Coffee Morning - Saturday, 5 March
You, your husbands, partners, family and friends are cordially invited to join Zonta Club of Guildford for a coffee morning to celebrate Mothering Sunday (6th March) and International Women’s Day (8th March), enjoying lots of sweet and savoury delights. 

RSVP to Linda van As –

The donation is at your discretion.
Which charities should Zonta Club of London II support?
This is a reminder that we will be deciding which charities our Club will support in 2016-2017. We have supported 2-3 charities at a time in the past. May we put some suggestions forward:

SafeHands for Mothers – this is an international development charity, which creates educational films on newborn care and FGM. The founder and CEO is a member of our Club, Nancy Durrell McKenna

NIA Ending Violence – this is a domestic violence charity, which has a refuge, domestic violence advocates and a rape crisis centre. They took over a number of programmes that Eaves had when it closed down, including services to help young women leave prostitution.

Dress for Success London – explained this one earlier, and they are our guests at the March meeting.

Rights of Women – with the help of The Law Society, this charity recently instigated a Court of Appeal ruling that government changes to legal aid for domestic violence are unlawful. They provide legal advice to women escaping domestic violence.

If you have any other suggestions and what we could do to help, that would be most welcome.
Donate the Zonta London Fund, our charity
As always, feel free to donate to our Fund via our giving page or by text messaging, as per the picture!

These platforms automatically allow you to declare your Gift Aid status as a UK taxpayer, giving our Club the benefit.
Your input counts!
We would like to continue to develop our bulletin with our members and supporters in mind.  If you have anything you would like to share with the Club, please do not hesitate to email

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