All over Europe, we have gone through a reality check. This September, we’ve had to massively reset ourselves from ’out of office’ mode to ‘up and running’ at full speed again.


Not everyone had a long summer of a series of seemingly never-ending relaxed days and nights. In some regions of Europe, people faced distressing times as nature caused massive destruction. As a result, this message may resonate even more deeply with anyone who has been affected.


At the SI convention in Dublin, it became evident that the times ahead will be even more challenging. Therefore, we need to take action to:


  • Stop the pushback on women’s involvement in society, especially at decision-making tables.
  • Increase the presence of women at peace treaty negotiations.
  • Engage more women in the development of AI tools, which are often biased towards men.
  • Answer the call of Soroptimist International’s incoming President Siew Yong to stand up and get involved in environmental sustainability.


Yes, the reset button was pushed very hard!


Mary Robinson, Former Irish president and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, states that climate change is “a man-made problem with a feminist solution.” Let’s take this up as the professional women we are and go beyond the stereotypical gender roles. We can immediately challenge our comfort zones by repositioning ourselves as Soroptimist International: standing up for women in climate change.


We Soroptimists have already proven how strong we are when united, and all numbers demonstrate that we have successfully ‘rebuilt, rethought, reinvented and repositioned’ our beloved organisation. We have brought Soroptimist to the foreground and established ourselves as an outstanding and dynamic federation.


Let’s take up the challenges of the Dublin Convention as dedicated professional women committed to making this world a better place for women and girls affected by climate change.


Mrs Robinson stated in her speech that globally women are 14 times more likely to die in natural disasters than men. Additionally, UN figures show that 80 per cent of people displaced by climate change are women, and it is generally harder for poor women to recover economically following climate-related disasters than it is for men.


Let’s make these invisible women visible. Let’s stand up for those women who are disproportionally affected.


We know we can, let’s show we can!


Yours sincerely,


Carolien Demey

SIE President 2021-2023



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