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What does it mean to be the “best of sisters”?

On Sisters Day 2020 Lichfield Club Communications Lead Nancy Archer, muses on what “sisterhood” means for us as Soroptimists.

Women Promoting Soroptimism“Sisters Day” falls on 2nd August each year and is an international day to recognise the bond between  “Sisters” – put simply a female sibling – a relation. Though “sister” is also a common term we use in the Soroptimist world when referring to our female counterparts …our fellow club members, with the name Soroptimist being coined from the Latin words Soror “sister” and optima “best” (best of sisters) and can also be taken to mean “best for women”. So we can commonly be heard referring to our club counterparts as “sisters”

When looking at writing this piece I referred to the Soroptimist website to see the Definition of Soroptimist: “a member of a service club composed of professional women and businesswomen” … time has moved on from the original founding of the organisation in California 1921, the membership has grown and is now a global organisation “professional” and “business” are no longer key expectations and although many of our members are working women they come from all walks of life, not all working, and not all professional, also from all corners of the world but with one common purpose to help improve the lives of women and children.

Looking into the origins of the word sister it’s a term used in many forms from Middle English and Old Norse systir, Old English sweoster from dialectal suster, akin to German schwester from Indo-European swesor, Sanskrit, svasar, Classical Latin soror, Old Irish siur, sewe, – one’s own, woman: hence, literally , woman of ours (family)

A “Soroptimist Sister” is also a “woman of ours”, a female family member, a fond nod that we are all women, with common aims, a group where friendships grow, where we support each other when needed, but give each other the freedom to be who we are… all seamlessly committed to our causes as sisters together.

So Happy Sisters day to all Women, whether you be family sisters, friendship sisters, but especially to our Soroptimist sisters – wherever you are in the world – we wish you well.

For more information on Soroptimism and what we do, or to come and have a look at your local club,  please contact Louie on 01543 409489 or email her at