International President’s Appeal – December 10th

Every year, on Human Rights Day (December 10) the President of Soroptimist International selects a project that provides direct assistance to women in extreme need.

2017-2019 Appeal: Women, Water and Leadership

SI President Mariet Verhoef-Cohen

organisation dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls to achieve gender equality, introduces ‘Women, Water and Leadership’, the International President’s Appeal for the 2017-2019 biennium. Seeking to Educate, Empower and Enable
women and girls to become active leaders in water management, ‘Women, Water and Leadership’ will deliver a global programme, uniting the four Soroptimist Federations and 75,000 members across the world.

The President’s Appeal will support at least five projects in five continents, that embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the targets set out in SDG 6: Water – a goal essential for the attainment of the other sixteen SDGs – and also SDG 4: Education and SDG 5: Gender Equality. Increasing awareness of the vital role of women as equal partners at all levels of the
water sector, ‘Women, Water and Leadership’ will work to ensure women and girls have the capacity, education and experience
to manage water resources, and gain careers in water-related professions. The President’s Appeal will promote the inclusion of women in water resource governance as actors, experts and leaders during all phases of the projects, through education and capacity building – from design through to implementation and monitoring.

Water is Life
Safe, accessible water is crucial to preserving life. Water fuels our bodies, cleans our homes and clothes, drives industry, generates energy and irrigates the crops which feed the population. In many countries securing water is a daily fight for survival, particularly for women.

Water Scarcity

Growth in the world’s population and industrialisation, together with climate change and demographic shifts, all lead to an increased demand for water. Annually, 4 billion people experience severe water scarcity for at least one month of the year. Additionally, 663 million people lack access to a safe water source. Women and girls are disproportionately affected – instead of earning an income or attending school, they are forced to be the primary water carriers for their families.

Water and Women Women use water for their businesses and for healthcare within their communities. They also make up 40 per cent of the world’s farmers. This acquired expertise, if reinforced through education and empowerment, can turn women into effective leaders in the water sector. Despite positive steps taken in past decades, the potential contributions of women in water
development remain largely untapped, inhibiting women’s economic empowerment. Of the millions of paid water-related jobs worldwide, currently less than 17% of the positions are filled by women. Conditions need to be created to facilitate women and girls as leaders,experts and agents of change in this field.

Cheques for the appeal should made out to SIGBI Ltd and sent to SIGBI Headquarters and marked for the International President’s Appeal.

Read this update, produced at the end of the first year (December 2018)