International Womens Day 2012

Janet Hodgson’s stimulating talk at Staffordshire University  was about ‘connecting girls, inspiring futures.’ An active soroptimist herself, she gave an account of some of the programme action work being undertaken by soroptimist clubs all over the country. Soroptimist clubs sponsor girls worldwide and one club (S.I. Bilston) even helps to fund an entire school, providing uniforms and upgrading kitchens. Several clubs support ‘Mary’s Meals’, an organisation which enables children to get an education by providing a nutritious school meal.

UK. projects  include S.I. Nottingham’s support to long-term unemployed women who are seeking to re-enter the workforce.  S.I. Northwich and S.I. Derby work with women in Foston Prison, teaching basic skills and crafts. Craft items are then sold at local markets and the profits ploughed back into resources for more prisoners.

The trafficking of women has long been a concern to Soroptimist International, which works in this area with partners such as the Eaves Project and the Salvation Army . The ‘Skirting Science’ programme enables eminent female scientists to go into U.K. schools to enthuse girls. Soroptimist International also works with UNICEF, Women 4 Women International and Hope and Homes for Children.

Janet Hodgson’s inspiring talk gave an insight into the practical work undertaken by soroptimists as well as stimulating debate and questions.