SI Thames Valley found out when our PA Officer Sushi Gow invited Summreen Sheikh of Greenpeace to speak at our May club meeting to give practical hints on how to help. We can, of course, join a local environmental group and participate in their actions. But on a personal level there is a lot more we can do. Summreen herself now car shares and cycles when she possibly can. She advised us to think carefully about the food we eat to produce less waste. She told us of her own experiments with vegetarianism and veganism. It was her small way to help reduce the world-wide demand for more land, such as rain forests, to cultivate and help meet this demand for more meat and soya. Our own gardens should ideally be biologically diverse to give Nature a helping hand to help us. As regards the
Once again, prior to Christmas. SI Thames Valley provided shoping vouchers for the 12 residents of the refuge. Also, in December, we learnt that WWA had again received a cheque from Waitrose for £333 from their token scheme. One of our club members had nominated WWA as a recipient.
Recently, members of Soroptimist International in the Thames Valley joined hundreds of people from around the world for a special event from the United Nations. Coinciding with the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women ( 25 November), the UN webinar focussed on this issue, which shockingly affects one in three women globally during their lifetime. Violence against women takes many forms including domestic abuse, child marriage, human trafficking and FGM. The Secretary General of the UN said that the COVID pandemic had exposed violence against women as a global emergency requiring urgent action. Rates especially of domestic violence have dramatically escalated around the world. The pandemic has exacerbated the risk factors for it. For example, lockdown measures in many countries have meant that girls are not able to go to school, and women cannot easily leave their homes. Mr Guterres said
How would life be if you woke up tomorrow as the opposite gender? I am both a Rotarian and a Soroptimist. Since lockdown, as with Rotary, I have attended lots of Zoom talks run by other clubs. The East Grinstead club has attracted some amazing speakers, including Jen Toll, whose fascinating talk I recently watched, and where this question came from. Jen is a mother of two daughters, who was disappointed by the messages on clothing for girls. They tended to use words such as pretty, perfect, and sweet, whereas clothes for boys often used terms like cool, brave, and daring. In addition, she saw that there were lots of references to princesses and none to scientists! These things put limits on the beliefs that girls had about themselves, and what they thought they could become as they grew up. This showed itself in a