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International President’s Appeal – December 10th

International President’s Appeal

Every year, on Human Rights Day (December 10) the President of Soroptimist International selects a project that provides direct assistance to women in extreme need.

2019-2021 Appeal: The Road to Equality

SI President Sharon Fisher

Road to equality

SI President, Sharon Fisher, invites us all to join her on her 2-year road trip – ‘The Road to Equality’, which aims to advance the human rights and Equality of women and girls through empowerment and education. Gender Equality is a cross cutting issue and women and girls are at the centre.

The Appeal will target some of the worst causes of inequality and learn the root causes, hear stories from those who are in the “fight” for change and develop our voices to become advocates. President Sharon states, “Change comes when enough people are talking and if you know the topic and you tell one person and they tell one person and they tell one person until so many are talking about something it cannot be ignored. “

To this end, President Sharon hopes to use seminars, webinars, networking partnerships, our networks of neighbours, friends and family and our lived experiences to turn up the volume on the Rights of Women and Girls as we learn about the different areas of the appeal: FGM, Child Marriage, Domestic Violence, Migration, Sex Trafficking, and the Rights of Older Women.

Each topic will have a project to highlight best practices and provide the stories we need to tell while helping the women and girls we serve.

Global Media Campaign is a web of 375 media activists, who have been trained in advocacy work and how to use social media platforms to increase the visibility to their work, across 7 countries broadcasting directly to their communities where girls are cut. This new generation of digitally literate young campaigners on the ground are best placed to end FGM in their communities. What’s more, with relatively modest support, they can and are making significant change.

After national media campaigns; people are talking out loud about FGM, leaders are banning FGM and mothers are making the decision to no longer cut their daughters. After the first campaign evidence confirmed 1 in 4 mothers have responded declaring they will no longer cut their girls. The targeted audience also includes men, raising their awareness of the risks of FGM to their daughters, sisters, future wives etc.

New “Road to Equality” project – Making Masks

The very inequalities addressed in The Road to Equality SI President’s Appeal are exacerbated by the pandemic. We are witnessing increasing threats to the safety of women and girls – domestic violence,  human trafficking, FGM and child marriage, with many older women facing the crisis alone, and refugee women lacking access to adequate healthcare and sanitation facilities. Women, representing 70% of the global health workforce in most countries, are on the frontline, working tirelessly, often for less pay than their male counterparts.

We have observed how Soroptimists are stitching and crafting, making masks and other protective equipment such as gowns, face shields and more, for themselves, for friends, for their communities and for those on the frontline.

The SI Road to Equality would like to invite each and every one of you to join us as we launch #MasksForEquality and to share your activities with us, both past and ongoing, through a short online survey.

If you are making masks and protective items, or working on other projects in response to COVID-19, we would love to hear from you, to recognise and measure your collective impact. CLICK HERE to complete the survey and join the #MasksForEquality campaign.

The Soroptimist Six

The President’s Appeal is supporting 6 of the activists and is following their journeys and hearing their stories.

For more information on the individual advocates, please visit

President Sharon and the Appeal committee are currently researching up to four more topics for project work and will apply funding from our donations and the committee’s fundraising activities to support each topic and to bring us best practices that showcase the impact and share the stories that will supplement our Soroptimist advocacy initiatives.

Follow updates at  and

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