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Our Projects and Appeals

Our Projects

Introduction to our projects by Programme Director, Lindsay Green

Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) is one of five Federations of Soroptimist International.

We all work to help improve the lives of women and girls worldwide, using our networks to deliver projects relevant in our own localities and universally.  Many of the problems facing women and girls are the same everywhere, for example gender inequality, but there are particular problems in each continent, country, region and locality.

Our special status at the UN helps us to engage with UN entities as well as soroptimists worldwide.

Our current focus is helping to implement projects which work toward achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs – We do this through our own projects and working in partnership with others at home and abroad.

Our projects range from supporting local charities (e.g. women’s refuges) to those at country and international levels through our Federation’s countries  and with the other Federations and their clubs.

Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts – How special are they?

In 2017 a partnership was formed between SIGBI and criminal justice partners in Northumbria. Local Soroptimists took part in an observation project in which they watched over 220 sessions of the Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (now Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts), answering a range of questions, in particular about how the largely female victims were treated. The results uncovered serious failings and shortcomings in these courts. These were then analysed to produce a report in 2018 asking: “Specialist Domestic Violence Courts: How Special Are They?”.

That work provided the foundation to replicate the same initiative in Wiltshire in 2018 and in the Midlands in 2020 and throughout many other areas of England in 2022.

The collective reports together show something very close to a comprehensive report on the way in which the Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts are working on a national basis. The recommendations made in the new report seek to improve the workings of this system with a particular emphasis on positive experiences and outcomes for the victims.

The aim of this project is to provide a useful independent review across England of how these courts should be improved for victims of abuse, the majority of whom are women. Soroptimists stand up as advocates for all women, especially for those who have no voice. We have worked as independent observers to give the public confidence in our courts, but we also want to drive improvement and our recommendations seek to help build public trust in our justice system.

A full copy of the 2022 report is available:
Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts – How special were they in 2022 (PDF)

Related reports



West Midlands:

Examples of Club Projects

SI Wexford, as part of  the National Project “Safe Home, Safe Community”, had 15,000 “Loves Me, Loves me Not” bookmarks printed for distribution to every Club in the country for onward distribution within their respective communities.

These bookmarks have been very well received by all our Clubs. Within the Wexford community we have distributed them to schools, libraries, surgeries , shops to name but a few places.

SI St. Vincent designed a Self Breast Examination pamphlet after consulting the SVG Medical Association.

The pamphlet was sent to Clinics throughout the island and also shared with the SVG Medical Association and the Caribbean Medical Imaging Centre.

SI Colombo, Sri Lanka, provided free sanitary napkins to schools.

This reduces the amount of school missed by young girls during their periods as it prevents embarrassment that they cannot afford sanitary protection.

United Kingdom Programme Action Committee

In the UK we have a UK Programme Action Committee (UKPAC) to which all UK Regions and Clubs belong. They work on projects specifically based in the UK, such as our Women in Prisons project in conjunction with The Prison Reform Trust. More recently, UKPAC has been working on improving legal protection for survivors of domestic abuse within the Domestic Abuse Bill.

The 5Ps and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)

We call our activities Programme Action (PA) and they are grouped into the UN’s 5Ps. Each of our Assistant Programme Directors focuses on one of these areas, and you can read more about the work being done by Soroptimists under each P by following the links below:

We work through Education, Empowerment and Enablement (3Es) supported by Awareness (raising), Advocacy and Action (3As).

Where We Stand

Soroptimist International’s “Where We Stand” statements clearly state our position on each of the issues being addressed. You can find all the Where We Stand statements on the SI Website.

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