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Dear Soroptimists,

 

As we continue to focus on the need for a new Constitution, things are moving forward with two Constitution and Bylaws workshops completed, there lies a tremendous amount of work for the Unions ahead of the vote at this year’s eGM in July.

 

As I write this message, we are in the midst of finalising one of our important campaigns, International Women’s Day (March 8th). Each year this significant day gives us the opportunity to shine a brighter light on women’s rights. Not only the pay gap is not diminishing, but more recently women are losing jobs due to lockdowns more often than men, more governments feel free to decide for women in the areas of their most intimate and critical issue of reproductive rights.

 

Thinking back when I was younger, what a paradox, under communism, I was led to believe March 8th was a day invented by Stalin. It was ridiculously celebrated, in factories every woman was given one unripe carnation (one couldn’t even tell a colour of it), a kiss on the hand and a pair of tights (for which they had to sign to confirm receipt). On the other hand, Poland has a high rate of working women, professions such as judges, doctors, teachers, bookkeepers, social workers were almost completely female. To a high degree, it remains the case in post-communist countries.

 

Yet, there is still a lot to do!

 

I am pleased that we have two excellent candidates for the Soroptimist International Europe President 2021-2023: Hafdís Karlsdóttir and Saija Kuusisto – Lancaster. Both are members of the present Board, but rest assured that they will be normally performing their duties planned for the rest of the biennium. This year, we will use the strength of technology to present candidates for SIE President. And please also note, the search for nominees to the Soroptimist International Board 2021-2023 will be sent out in March.

 

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women will be entirely online this year, our representatives will participate in it. We will also be involved in the implementation of the side event organised by the SI, please find more details in the article by the Vice President of Advocacy below.

 

We are not forgetting about our DNA – programme, projects and leadership. Apart from that – business as usual, call for Scholarships, Best Practice Awards, Action Fund applications, Photo Competition, etc. were sent out in due time thanks to our headquarters team of professional, dedicated, and diligent women.

 

Author

By Anna Wszelaczyńska,

SIE President 2019-2021

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