Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award

Deadline: assigned by the local Zonta
Open to: pre-university or pre-college women students (ages 16-19) living or studying in a Zonta district/region
Award: district recipients receive US$1,000; five international recipients are selected from the district recipients to receive awards of US$3,000 each

The progress of women in the last century has dramatically increased the opportunities available to women, yet women’s participation in positions of public influence continues to lag behind. Although women account for nearly 50 percent of the workforce, they hold just 18.7 percent of seats in the world’s national parliaments as of 31 December 2009, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Zonta International believes young women are the key to women’s advancement in the field of public service. The Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Awards program recognizes young women for their demonstrated 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, the Young Women in Public Affairs Award honors young women in secondary level or pre-university schools, ages 16 to 19, who demonstrate a commitment to leadership in public policy, government and volunteer organizations. The program operates at the Zonta club, district and international levels. Zonta clubs provide awards for club recipients, and district and international awards are funded by the Zonta International Foundation. District recipients receive US$1,000, and five international recipients are selected from the district recipients to receive awards of US$3,000 each.


Women of any nationality, who are pre-university or pre-college students (ages 16-19) living or studying in a Zonta district/region at the time of application and demonstrate evidence of:

* Active commitment to volunteerism
* Experience in local or student government
* Volunteer leadership achievements
* Knowledge of Zonta International and its programs
* Advocating in Zonta International’s mission of advancing the status of women worldwide

Application Process

The application must start with a Zonta club. All application materials must be received at a Zonta club by the printed deadline. Zonta clubs select one application to send to the Zonta governor. A district evaluating committee reviews the applications and selects one applicant per district to submit to Zonta International Headquarters. The Zonta International YWPA Committee recommends five international recipients from the district applications to the Zonta International Board. After approval by the Zonta International Board, the Zonta International Foundation provides awards and certificates to the district and international recipients. Locate a Zonta Club Near You

Applications for the 2011 Young Women in Public Affairs Award must be received by the assigned deadline that is declared by the applicant’s local Zonta club. The 2011 recipients will be chosen by 1 July 2011.

The official webpage.

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