Empowering women with Sandy Venn-Brown

Zonta Governor Sandy Venn-Brown joins Your Shout to discuss how Zonta changes the lives of women worldwide.

Listen to her story below:

For more than 100 years Zonta club members from around the world have met with the common goal of improving the lives of women and girls.

Zonta began as a club for professional women in Buffalo, New York, in 1919 and now boasts more than 29,000 members in 63 countries.

Governor of District 22 (Queensland) Sandy Venn-Brown said despite myriad challenges the Zonta founders were determined to advance the status of women.

“They had no access to their own money, they had very few opportunities to mix in a social setting with likeminded women and they were not allowed to join professional associations, so there was nowhere for them to discuss their ideas about the future for women,” Ms Venn-Brown said.

“It was difficult for them to find each other, have the money to get together and find a venue but they were committed to making a difference.”


Ms Venn-Brown said while feminism had come a long way in the last 100 years, many of the issues faced by women remained the same.

“The challenges have changed and women today would see the work these women were doing as quite strange,” she said.

“Now we’re looking at things like trying to eradicate child marriage, domestic and family violence, helping young girls to move into the STEM field. 

“But health outcomes, education outcomes and representation outcomes are fundamental issues for women that have never changed.” 

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