2001 marked the 80th anniversary of Soroptimist International. It was time to review the movement and ensure it was fit for purpose in the new millennium. Women and girls were definitely becoming a focus for global action. Soroptimist International’s knowledge, views and ability to reflect the lived experience of women and girls globally were increasingly appreciated in the United Nations community. Soroptimist International conferences renewed the commitment to the Beijing Declaration. By the end of the decade, the new focus on women and girls was enshrined in the updated Vision and Mission statements.
And 2010, the Federation of Great Britain & Ireland (Sigbi) adopted a new logo, symbolising its entry into the new millennium with renewed dynamism.
2006 saw SI Woking celebrate its Pearl Anniversary. To mark the occasion, Woking Soroptimists donated a bench to Woking Park.
Mission and values
Work began in 2001 on a new Vision and Mission to replace the previous ‘Aims and Objects’. Adopted in 2005, the new Vision and Mission incorporated the new focus on women and girls.
Women and girls will achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide.
Soroptimists transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities.
During 2004-2006, Woking Soroptimists raised funds for the Tondashun School in Tibet, and helped to support a Tibetan girl student financially.
in 2007, Soroptimist International initiated Project Sierra: A Family and a Future. This was a four-year project to help disadvantaged women and children in Sierra Leone, in partnership with the international charity Hope and Homes for Children. At that time, Sierra Leone was facing the challenge of reconstructing physical and social infrastructures after a decade of war.
Locally, during 2001-2, Woking Soroptimists organised fundraising events for Surrey Care Trust. Surrey Care Trust offers learning, training and mentoring to support young people and adults.
2006-7 President Jackie Theobald chose as her special charity the ‘Children with Special Needs Foundation’. A special project that year was the creation of a sensory room in Squirrels Lodge, Mount Hermon Road, Woking. Squirrels Lodge offered respite care to disabled children.
In 2009, President Anne Ansell launched a Festival of Health and Well-Being, repeated in 2011.
Status of Women
Peter Singer (in an article for Project Syndicate, 14 April 2008) https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/is-there-moral-progress mentioned recent polls by WorldPublicOpinion.org. that shed some indirect light on the extent to which racism and sexism have been reduced since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948). The polls were conducted in 16 countries, representing 58% of the world’s population: Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States. A significant number of respondents agrees that women have made progress towards equality and support equal rights for women. The number is significantly higher than at the end of the 1930s when equal rights for women (including working outside the home or living independently) was still a radical idea in many countries.
During the decade, there were more ‘firsts for women’. In 2011, our member, Anne Ansell, was made Honorary Freeman of the Borough, the first woman in Woking to do so.
Woking Great Big Green Week
Information from Woking Environment Action: The programme of events for Woking Great Big Green Week from 18th-26th September is available on our website now. The Great Big Green Week is a nationwide event leading up to the COP26 (UN Climate Change Conference) in Glasgow from the 31st October to 12th November 2021. Events include an online climate debate with Jonathan Lord MP for Woking. The debate takes place on Friday 24th of September at 3pm. Please register on http://www.eventbrite.co.uk.
Information is available via https://wokingenvironmentaction.com/great-big-green-week.
Black History Month
Surrey History has arranged a talk for Black History month by Dr Catherine Babikian: “The Changing Face of Nursing: Black Nurses in Surrey Hospitals”
1 October, 5.30pm to 6.45pm. Full details and booking at Surrey Heritage Events
Thanks to our sister Club, SI Durham, we can pass on this useful information about stalking from Durham Constabulary