To fulfill our mission of empowering women worldwide, we must focus on gender equality in education, an essential human right, critical to development for all. For women and girls, education provides the tools and resources to empower them to make decisions about their lives and the future of their families. Educated women can break the cycle of poverty; they can choose when to marry and if and when to have children; they can access quality health care to safeguard themselves and their children; they can educate their own children and ensure greater opportunities for future generations.
While significant progress has been made in achieving gender equality in primary and secondary school enrollment, significant gaps still remain at the university level. These gaps are even more significant in fields traditionally dominated by men. To address these gaps and promote gender equality in education, Zonta International supports three programs for women and girls pursuing education and careers in the traditionally male-dominated fields of aerospace sciences and engineering, business and business management and public affairs.
The Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award recognizes young women, ages 16-19, who demonstrate superior leadership skills and a commitment to public service and civic causes, and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.