The First Soroptimist International President Elected – Our work with the United Nations had begun:
Soroptimist International President Gertrude G Huitt
What an honour it was to be the first International President ! Actually it was Madeliene Garot past SIE President who had first talked about the need for officers, so that Soroptimist International could qualify with the United Nations for Consultative Status.
I was to serve for four years, until 1956, and it was the most challenging time of my life. f was a practising lawyer, but it was a monumental task to pioneer the new proceduresand policies of the Soroptimist International Association with its three Federations and growing number of clubs. The problems and joys of this assignment, with misunderstandings of translation, caused some pain and anquish . . . but we survived all those early difficulties and I realised that no gem can be polished without a good deal of friction.
The United Nations – Founded 1945
Clubs in aII three Federations were learning about the United Nations in the post-war world. Members began to buy UNESCO coupons,to help educational needs around the world. And while our organisation was pledged to neutrality on sectarian / religious and party political matters, members were strong in support of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was proclaimed by the UN on 10th December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
International President Gertrude says:
“I presided at our 1956 Convention in New York – the first held in Arnerica since 1938. Delegates adopted a formal resolution to secure women’s rights in respect to equal access to education, equal economic opportunity, equal pay for equal work and equality between parentsin respect of their children. And as I saw the flags of the great nations where Soroptimists render service, I felt great enthusiasm, honour and pride .
“Soroptimist International’s strength is in the Federations … and the Federations are what create our international whole”
2020 – Soroptimist International at the United Nations
There are now Soroptimist Representatives at all the United Nations Offices in the world:
New York – Geneva – Vienna – Rome – Paris – Nairobi – Bangkok
New York, the United Nations headquarters and home to the General Assembly, is where all areas of the UN’s work are discussed. The Centre is also the headquarters of UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women created in 2010.
For more information about Soroptimist International at the United Nations – click here