Governor’s Summit – Child Advocacy Recap

At the Zonta Governor’s Summit we had a great day of advocacy action trying to end child marriage in Michigan.  We also learned that it took Massachusetts 8 years of advocacy efforts before finally ending child marriage in Massachusetts.  This year, we have our strongest attempt yet as there are companion bills in the Senate to end child marriage in Michigan. Senate Bills: SB1114 – SB1123. Contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to bring the bills to a hearing and vote to end child marriage in Michigan – 18 No Exceptions. Click here for email, address and phone numbers of officials you can contact.

Advocacy Opportunities Presentation Files: Power Point or PDF

Equal Rights Amendment Update

With Virginia ratifying the ERA, the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ready to be added.  However, it has not been published due to an arbitrary timeline, that Congress has the power to remove, which in March 2021, the House of Representatives voted to remove the time limit to ratify the ERA.  However, the Senate has not taken a vote on this issue. What we have learned in our advocacy journey is that Congress needs to hear from us to understand an issue is important to us. We are challenging you to contact both Michigan Senators and ask them to reach out to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and request a vote on the SJ-Res 1.  A script for you to use is available here:

End Child Marriage – What You Can Do

  • Call your State Representative and ask them to commit to voting YES on House Bills: #HB4226 through #HB4229 to end child marriage in Michigan – marriage should be at 18 with no exceptions.  Find your State Representative here:
  • Call your State Senator and ask them to support the forthcoming Senate Companion Bill to end child marriage in Michigan – marriage should be at 18 with no exceptions. Find your State Senator here:

Email Advocacy

Send a Postcard to your Representative #18NoExceptions

  • Add a personal note to your postcard.  Some examples:
    • PLEASE prioritize ending child marriage and schedule a hearing on HB4226 through HB4229
    • If the USA condemns other countries for child marriage, Michigan should too.
    • A child can’t legally end a contract, our laws should protect them from being entered into one.

Facts About Child Marriage in Michigan

  • Under the 1887 Michigan law there is NO minimum age to marry. Child Marriage is legal in Michigan.
  • 77% of Michigan’s child brides were minor girls married to adult men with a significant age difference.
  • Child Marriage not only avoids Statutory Rape charges, it is also a gateway to Human Trafficking.

The Consequences of Female Child Marriage include:

  • A 70-80% chance of getting divorced.  Additionally, divorced teen mothers are more likely to end up living in poverty than teen mothers who did not marry.
  • 3 times more likely to be beaten by their spouse than those who marry at 21 or older.
  • 50% more likely to drop out of high school and 4 times less likely to complete college.
  • 23% greater risk of disease onset including heart attack, diabetes, cancer and stroke.
  • Higher rates of sexually transmitted infections.
  • Minors cannot hire a lawyer to file for divorce.
  • Domestic Violence Shelters must return minors to their legal guardians.  Additionally, if a friend shelters a child bride, they could legally be charged with delinquency of a minor.

Join the Michigan Coalition to End Child Marriage

Have your organization join the Michigan Coalition to End Child Marriage: Contact Becca at

Zonta Rose Day

On March 8th, Zonta recognizes International Women’s Day and Zonta Rose Day. We celebrate mighty women but also have an opportunity throughout the entire month to empower women and girls through service and advocacy. Take an advocacy action today and see the great advocacy opportunities you, your club, and your community can participate in every March.

Equal Pay Day

March 15th marks the date that women must work into 2022 to finally reach the pay men received last year.

We’ve long known that on average, women in the workforce take home less than men—an average of 83 percent—and that many women of color are paid far less. Historically, Equal Pay Day has been calculated using data on full-time, year-round workers based on U.S. Census figures. But the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and exacerbated existing economic inequalities, therefore it is time to evolve how we talk about Equal Pay Day.

What is new this year? Women over the past two years, especially women of color, were pushed into part-time or seasonal work, or out of the workforce all together. Because of this, past methods of calculating the wage gap fell short of accurately capturing the full picture. For 2022, the Equal Pay Day coalition has adopted a new, more inclusive methodology. This encompasses a broader cross-section of women, including those who work part time or seasonally, to represent a more accurate picture of how the gender pay gap impacts diverse communities.

How you can help: The bipartisan Paycheck Fairness Act—which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2021—needs your support to reach the finish line. The Senate must move this bill forward to ensure all women have the tools they need to challenge discrimination and all employers have the incentives they need to comply with the law. To make equality a reality, we need you.

Mark Equal Pay Day and support the Paycheck Fairness Act now!

2022 Equal Pay Days

  • Equal Pay Day 2022 – March 15
  • AAPI Women’s Equal Pay Day 2022 – May 3
  • LGBTQIA+ Equal Pay Awareness Day 2022 – June 15*
  • Moms Equal Pay Day 2022 – July*
  • Black Women’s Equal Pay Day 2022 – September 29*
  • Native Women’s Equal Pay Day 2022 – December 1
  • Latina Equal Pay Day 2022 – December 8

*This date is subject to change. Follow us on social and turn notifications on so you are the first to know!