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President’s Message February 2022

Dear Members,

As we enter the month of February, no doubt your thoughts will be turning towards planning your events to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2022.

However before then, there are several UN Days in February which resonate with Soroptimists; on the 6th – the all-important International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, on the 11th – International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and on the 20th – World Day of Social Justice.

The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.

International days are occasions to educate the general public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.

Zero Discrimination Day on 1 March celebrates the rights of everyone to live a full and productive life with dignity. It highlights how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and above all, a movement for change.

International Women’s Day this year will be focusing on ‘Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’ with the theme of #BreakTheBias.

UN Women has produced a new flagship report ‘Turning promises into action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ which provides a comprehensive assessment of progress, gaps, and challenges in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from a gender perspective.

The report monitors global and regional trends in achieving the SDGs for women and girls based on available data and provides practical guidance on implementing gender-based policies.

As a source of high-quality data and policy analysis, the report is a key reference tool for policy makers, women’s organisations and the UN system.

This report lays the basis for robust gender perspective monitoring of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by:

  • Showing how gender equality is central to the achievement of all 17 SDGs and arguing for an integrated approach to implementation
  • Explaining gender data gaps and challenges for robust monitoring and establishing trends, based on available data
  • Setting an agenda for strengthening accountability for gender equality commitments at global, regional, and national levels

I’m excited to see how Soroptimists will be celebrating ‘Breaking the Bias’ on International Women’s Day, 2022. We can do so in our communities, in our workplaces, in our schools, colleges and universities.

Imagine a gender equal world:

–  A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination

–  A world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive

– A world where difference is valued and celebrated

Together we can forge women’s equality.

STOP PRESS – On 22 January, I was delighted to charter our newest club, SI Couva, Trinidad and Tobago, when I welcomed a group of inspiring young women to our Soroptimist family. It was a wonderful charter ceremony and I’m sure you’ll want to join me in wishing them every success for the future.

In friendship

Cathy Cottridge
SIGBI President 2021-2022