Young Women in Public Affairs Award
These Awards recognize pre-university and pre-college women students committed to leadership in public policy, government and volunteer organizations. See the Awards Application for further information regarding eligibility, application requirements, contact information, and application process.
Though about 40% of the world’s workforce is women, according to data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, only 25.7% of all national parliamentarians were female as of 1 September 2021. Because Zonta International believes that young women are the key to women’s advancement in the field of public service, it offers the Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award, which recognizes young women, ages 16-19, for demonstrating leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes, and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.
Established in 1990 by Past International President Leneen Forde, Zonta has given 1,054 awards, US$1,303,750, to 882 young women from 60 countries. The program goal is to encourage more young women to participate in public affairs by recognizing the candidate’s commitment to the volunteer sector, evidence of volunteer leadership achievements and a dedication to empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta International offers 37 international awards of US$5,000. Each district/region may submit one applicant for consideration for an international scholarship. The five largest districts may submit a second applicant for a total of two applicants.
Women, aged 16-19 on April 1 each year, studying at a secondary school, college or university in a Zonta district/region, or who are studying elsewhere but are citizens of a Zonta country, who demonstrate evidence of the following, are eligible to apply.
- Active commitment to volunteerism.
- Experience in local government, student government, or workplace leadership (paid or unpaid).
- Volunteer leadership achievements.
- Knowledge of Zonta International and its programs.
- Support in Zonta International's mission of empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
Applicants from geographic areas within a Zonta district/region where no clubs are located may apply via a Zonta e-club or directly to the district to be eligible for the district/region and international awards. Z and Golden Z club members are also eligible to apply. Classified members (club members and individuals with direct membership with Zonta International) and employees of Zonta International and Zonta Foundation for Women, and their family members (ancestors, descendants, adoptees, siblings, nieces or cousins, and those of their spouse or co-habiting partner), are not eligible to apply for the Awards. Previous International Young Women in Public Affairs Award recipients are not eligible to apply.
The application process must start with a Zonta club. All application materials must be received by the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley by the deadline printed on the application.
Zonta clubs select one application to send to the Zonta governor/region representative. A district/region evaluation committee selects one applicant per district/region to submit to Zonta International Headquarters. The five largest Zonta districts in terms of membership numbers may submit two applications to Zonta International. The Zonta International Headquarters team confirms the eligibility of the applicants put forth by the district/region and submits a recommendation to the Zonta International Board for final approval.
Applications must be completed and returned to the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley by February 24, 2023. After the club recipient is selected, the application is presented to the governor/regional representative. Then the district/region recipient is selected, and the application is presented to Zonta International Headquarters by May 2023. Club recipients will be announced May 2023. The Zonta International 2023 recipients will be announced by July 2023.
YWPA district/region and international Awards are made possible by generous contributions to the Zonta International Foundation Young Women in Public Affairs Award Fund. Our local YWPA awards are made possible by generous contributions to the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Foundation. You can make a difference in the lives of young women by donating today!