Skip to content

Notice orange shoes around City Hall and the boardwalk? Here's why

Shoes represent women and girls who are the victims of gender-based violence in Ontario

Thirty-five percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.

As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence—an international campaign that aims to inspire action and end violence against women and girls around the world—the Zonta Club of Sault, along with members of the local community, will be highlighting the issue of violence against women through social media posts from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10.

At the local level, Zonta clubs across the world have organized activities and events as part of the 2020 Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign, which focuses on the service and advocacy actions of Zonta clubs and districts to prevent and end violence against women and girls in their local communities. 

“As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, instances of gender-based violence are on the rise. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we work together to end violence against women and girls,” said Zonta International President Sharon Langenbeck. “Through the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign, Zonta clubs around the world are uniting to raise their voices to bring awareness to this issue and advocate on behalf of gender-based violence survivors.”

In 2019, the Zonta Club of Sault Ste. Marie highlighted the issue of gender-based violence with a display at the public library of 48 pairs of women’s shoes, representing the 48 women who lost their lives in the preceding year in Ontario to intimate partner violence.

“This was a stunning and moving display. Orange is the international colour used by the United Nations and Zonta International for violence against women and girls”, said Sharon Kirkpatrick, the local club president. “Because of COVID-19 this year, we are taking the campaign online, showing 37 pairs of orange shoes in various locations in the area. In the past year, the Femicide list from the Ontario Association of Transition and Interval Homes (OAITH) reported 37 fatalities. We want people to understand that these orange shoes represent real women- our daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts and friends.”

Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women began in November 2012. To learn more and join the campaign, please visit here.

Zonta International’s ongoing efforts to end violence against women and girls at the international level are carried out through the Zonta International Strategies to end Violence Against Women (ZISVAW) program and through Zonta’s partnerships with the United Nations and its agencies. Since the program’s inception in 1999, more than US$9.5 million has been provided to support projects to prevent and end violence against women and girls in 46 countries. 

Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. More than 28,000 members in 63 countries work together to make gender equality a worldwide reality for women and girls. Since 1923, Zonta International has provided more than US$45.9 million to empower women and girls and expand their access to education, health care, economic opportunities and safe living conditions.