Pat Black says
“Why am I a Soroptimist? Because I believe that by adding my voice to the united voice of Soroptimists and other women’s organisations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally I can bring about changes in society which will improve the lives of women and girls.
I believe, and statistics show, that women and girls are still not given fair and equal recognition as positive contributors to their families and communities.
They are still not given full human rights in many countries and are often in a position where they do not know what those human and legal rights are.
Yes, there are men and boys who live in poverty and are vulnerable but throughout the world it is demonstrable that in many communities men hold power; they hold positions of power which do not recognise women as equals. Throughout the world over centuries the lack of recognition of women as equals has led to abuse and subjugation which continues today. This has led to women’s voices not being heard. This has led to women and girls being given no choice over their life paths or even their own bodies.
In practical terms this gives rise to many issues which as a Soroptimist I can advocate or lobby about.
I believe this means raising my voice, and encouraging others to raise theirs, to support women and girls who want to create a positive change in their lives.
- Raising awareness of the extent of modern day slavery and human trafficking in a locality;
- Protesting on behalf of girls and young women who cannot have access to education;
- Encouraging women to have the confidence to take leadership roles in their communities;
- Supporting specialist organisations working to defend girls against FGM or early or forced marriage;
- Making known what Soroptimists do to ease the lives of women and girls suffering through domestic abuse;
- Educating men and boys to respect women and girls in their relationships;
- Exposing the atrocities inflicted on women and girls in conflict zones;
- My advocacy has a thousand different faces – where does yours take you?
If you believe, like me, that women and girls deserve better add your voice to Soroptimist International.”