SIGBI Programme Director’s Blog April 2017

Barbara Dixon

On 11th March I headed off for CSW61 as mentioned in my last Blog. Over 80 members of SI from all Federations and SI itself attended the many discussion side events and parallel events to raise the issues that concern us all and as I am writing this (24/3/17), several members of SIGBI are still in New York working on the final text that will be included in the agreed conclusions.

The hard work and effort put in by International Advocacy manager Pat Black and our own APD Margaret Clark, along with other members of the text group, should not go unnoticed.

The Consultation Day on Sunday 12th March was informative, thought provoking and fun- we were entertained by the Harlem Diva and many Soroptimists joined her on stage to sing what has almost become our anthem in New York – Keep on movin’ forward.

SI had a very successful parallel event entitled “Opening the Door to Economic Empowerment for Women and Girls” where International President Yvonne and representatives from all 4 Federations presented a sample of their work on this theme. Nisha Ghosh presented on behalf of SIGBI and did us proud on achieving empowerment one Napkin at a time – covering the work done by Clubs on disposable and re-useable sanitary wear.

It is gratifying to note that as soon as we mention Soroptimism to anyone in The UN most reply “We like Soroptimists!”- A far cry from what we normally get in our own local communities.- we have to ensure that our work is recognised by the recipients so that our name becomes synonymous with work for women and girls through Education, Empowerment and Enabling opportunities.

It is your work, recorded on the database that we and our Soroptimist UN representatives use for negotiations so please make sure your work is recorded and we have the ammunition to state our case.


It is now 12 months since the official launch of the Federation Project- The Meru women’s garden project and sufficient funds have now been raise to make a start on the educational aspect of this. Communication between, Patricia Gatherum the Project Liaison Officer and the SIGBI Ambassadors are now in full swing.

I have spoken to our contact in and the ladies in Meru who have indicated that the take up for the project exceeds expectations. Next year there will be a study tour which will coincide with the graduation of the first tranche of women who have been on the course so watch out for more details.

There was much to Celebrate in March for Soroptimists and as we come to the end of the Club year I would like to offer a special Thank You to each and every one of you for your work . Keep on “Movin’ Forward – use your PA work to grow our Organisation until we truly are THE organisation for women to join.

Yours in friendship

Barbara Dixon
Programme Director

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