Soroptimist International (https://www.soroptimistinternational.org) is a global volunteer movement which works to transform the lives of women and girls worldwide. It has been around since 1921, so almost 100 years, and there are currently nearly 80,000 members in 124 countries.
What does the name “Soroptimist” mean? It was created form the Latin “SOROR“, meaning SISTER, and “OPTIMA“, meaning BEST. The name Soroptimist is perhaps best interpreted as “The Best for Women”. Thus, as our name suggests, we work to create the best for our sisters, that is to create opportunities to educate, empower and enable women and girls to seek out and reach their potential, through projects which support
- Human Rights and the status of women
- Fostering International goodwill and understanding
- The Environment
- Economic and social development.
We aim to be a global voice for women through Awareness, Advocacy and Action, and our goals are aligned to the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals:
Soroptimists work internationally, nationally, within regions and locally. With speaking rights with a number of UN organisations and partnerships with other organisations throughout the world our work has ranged from lobbying against landmines, providing fresh water for villagers in developing countries, and to improve birthing in Papua New Guinea, increasing the survival rate and health of both women and babies. The current international project – “Opening Doors to a Bright Future” – is the Soroptimist International (SI) President’s Appeal, 2021-2023, officially launching 1 October 2021. Headed by SI President Maureen Maguire, 2022-23, the Appeal, now part of the broader, recently established Soroptimist International Foundation, springs from the learnings and success of many of the SI Appeals that have gone before; uniting Soroptimists, Clubs, Unions and the five Federations, with the aim of delivering tangible benefits to some of the world’s most marginalised women, girls, and their communities. With plans to establish Appeal projects in each of the five Soroptimist Federations, the launch project will take place within the Federation of the South West Pacific, in the South East Asia Nation of Cambodia.