Young Women in Public Affairs Award

Just over 25% of all national parliamentarians are women. Zonta International believes young women are the key to women’s advancement in the field of public service. Zonta International’s YWPA Award recognizes young women, ages 16-19, for demonstrating leadership skills and a commitment to public service and civic causes and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.

Zonta has presented 888 awards, totaling US$924,750, to 756 young women since 1990. Like the young women before them, the 2019 YWPA Awardees are changemakers with impressive records of volunteerism and promising futures in fields ranging from politics to medicine, law and more.

Niagara Falls has submitted a nominee every year for the YWPA scholarship program, and the first year we participated (1993), our nominee, 17-year-old Judith Parker, was the District AND International recipient. In 2019, Amal Qayum (link to her bio on another page) became our second recipient who went on to receive both the District and International awards. 


Women of any nationality, who are students aged 16 to 19, living or studying in a Zonta district/region at the time of application and demonstrate evidence of the following are eligible to apply:

  • 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

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 at a Zonta club by their deadline. If you downloaded the application from the Zonta International website, you must contact a Zonta club for deadline information. Please locate the Zonta club nearest you using the Club Locator or email your name and contact information to Zonta International Headquarters at [email protected].

Zonta clubs each select one application to send to the Zonta district/region. A district/region evaluating committee reviews the applications and selects one applicant per district/region to submit to Zonta International Headquarters. The Zonta International YWPA Committee recommends 10 international recipients from the district/region applications to the Zonta International Board. After approval by the Zonta International Board, the Zonta Foundation for Women provides awards and certificates to the district/region and international recipients.



Applications must be completed and presented to Zonta clubs according to the club’s assigned deadline. A club recipient is selected, and the application is presented to the governor/regional representative by 1 April. The district/region recipient is selected, and the application is presented to Zonta International Headquarters by 1 May. The 2021 recipients will be announced by 1 July 2021.


YWPA Awards are made possible by generous contributions to the Zonta International Foundation Young Women in Public Affairs Award Fund

2019 YWPA Award Recipient, Zonta Club of Niagara Falls, District 4 and Zonta International Amal Qayum Bio here.