ZONTA International is a worldwide, non-partisan, non-denominational and ideologically neutral service organization.

in which professional women have joined forces.


ZONTA members bear responsibility in their professional lives and use their skills and contacts to support disadvantaged women, promote talented women and advocate for women's rights.

support disadvantaged women, promote talented women and stand up for women's rights all over the world.


ZONTA International was founded in Buffalo, USA in 1919 as the first service organization for women. As a non-governmental organization ZONTA International has had consultative status with the UN since its founding in 1945. Our representatives in New York, Geneva,Vienna, Paris and Strasbourg perform tasks in various UN organizations. (UN women, UNICEF, UNFPA, ECOSOC, ILO)


The name Zonta is borrowed from the symbolic language of the Sioux Indians and means acting honorably, being trustworthy and acting with integrity. This standard for the founders' own actions still applies to all members today.


District 14 extends across 7 countries in Europe. Our 40 clubs are divided into 3 areas and are located in Germany (Bavaria and Thuringia), Austria, Italy (South Tyrol), Hungary, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus and Lebanon.



1919 – Confederation of Zonta Clubs founded in Buffalo, New York, USA. Mary Jenkins is elected first president.
1920 – Zonta colors and emblem are adopted and the first issue of The Zontian is published.
1923 – The first international project is funded to care for 115,000 orphan children and women in Smyrna, Turkey.
1927 – The first club outside the U.S. is formed in Toronto, Canada.
1930 – “Zonta International” name is adopted as the first European club is established in Vienna, Austria.
1938 – The Amelia Earhart Fellowship is established in honor of the Zontian after her disappearance in 1937.
1948 – The first Z and Golden Z clubs are founded in Burbank, California, USA.
1963 – Zonta International is granted roster-level status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
1968 –  Zonta International elects Helvi Sipilä as the first International President outside of the US. Contributions reach 1 million USD.
1970 – Zonta International elects Angie Brooks-Rudolph as its first International Honorary Member.
1975 – Zonta International President Eleanor Jammal and UN Committee Chairman Harriette Yeckel serve as Zonta’s official delegates to the UN International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico City, Mexico and Helvi Sipilä serves as secretary-general.
1983 – Zonta is granted consultative status with the Council of Europe.
1984 – Zonta International Foundation is established.
1986 – Zonta International becomes the first NGO to support UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) and continues to support.
1987 – Zonta International dedicates their first world headquarters building in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
1988 – Zonta welcomes its 1,000th club, Lome, Togo.
1990 – The Young Women in Public Affairs Award is established.
1998 – Zonta International Strategies to End Violence Against Women project (ZISVAW) is adopted as an ongoing program. The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship is established.
2012 – Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women annual campaign launches.
2014 – “Empowering Women Through Service and Advocacy” slogan adopted.
2018 – Zonta International adopts its signature project to end child marriage at the Zonta International Convention in Yokohama, Japan.
2019 – Zonta International celebrates 100 years on 8 November. A pilot for a new scholarship, Women in Technology, launches.

More Information

History of ZONTA D14 (1994-2019)
Adobe Acrobat Document 245.0 KB
Women's History 1919-2019
A century of women‘s history.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.6 MB