Fighting for women

WHAT do a retired legal secretary and an early 20th century playwright have in common? They are both passionate about advancing the status of women.

Zonta Gladstone Club president Gloria Roche, a retired legal secretary, told The Observer about the club’s involvement in the region and its foundations 90 years ago.

“At a time when women rarely held leadership positions, playwright and journalist, Marian de Forest conceived the idea of a strong network of women in executive positions who would work to take their rightful place in the professions next to men,” Mrs Roche said.

The proud history will con- tinue at the Gladstone Yacht Club on Sunday when the local Zonta Club celebrates the organisation’s 90th birthday with a breakfast.

“(The breakfast) is to celebrate Zonta’s achievements and to honour those women who had the foresight, dedication and tenacity to form such an organisation, which, for 90 years, has been tirelessly working to improve the legal, political, economic, education and health status of women worldwide through service and advocacy.”

The first Zonta club opened in 1919. The Gladstone branch was launched in 1992 and has 38 members.

The Gladstone club assists women who migrate to the region, prepares birthing kits for women and contributes to international causes like the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Rwanda.



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