Soroptimists are women in professions and business who work together at local, national and international levels to educate, empower and enable women and girls with an aim to improving their lives.
Soroptimists have addressed women’s issues in their communities and beyond since Soroptimist International was founded in 1921. Today, we are a strong international network of some 75,000 women, who are powerful and effective advocates of women’s and girls’ rights. Today, Soroptimist International of Europe, the largest of the four Federations of Soroptimist International, is comprised of some 34,000 women across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. The national Unions and Clubs of Soroptimist International of Europe initiate, support, finance and implement well over 4,000 projects for millions of euros every year. Our members work in their communities and beyond to provide concrete and practical help to women and girls.
VisionWomen and girls will achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide.
MissionSoroptimists transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities.
PrinciplesThe principles of Soroptimist are to strive for: • The advancement of the status of women • High ethical standards • Human rights for all • Equality, development and peace • Promoting international understanding, goodwill and peace
Education empowers women and girls to realise their potential and support themselves. It also enables women and children to pursue lifelong learning and is a means to eradicate and prevent violence against women. Soroptimists implement thousands of projects which further education or provide vocational training. And in a single year, Soroptimist International of Europe awards some 1600 scholarships to women and girls.
Soroptimists develop, finance and implement projects that give women better access to economic empowerment opportunities. Soroptimists help women and girls get the education and practical skills needed to enter the labour force and become economically independent. Many Soroptimist projects in the area of economic empowerment are conducted in partnership with micro-credit organisations, companies and other institutions.
Violence against Women
We execute projects to respond to, prevent and eliminate violence against women across the globe. Efforts include building shelters, aiding victims of violence, providing counselling services, lobbying for improved prevention programmes and policies and raising awareness of this problem.
Health & Food Security
Soroptimist priorities in the area of health also include reducing some of the causes of child mortality such as malnutrition, water-borne diseases, and access to primary healthcare.
As a ‘global voice for women’, we lobby actively for improved healthcare at the local and national levels in our own countries and communities, and promote education on reproductive health and rights.
We initiate projects that improve the environment, address the needs of women and girls in their communities, mitigate the effects of climate change and provide aid after natural or man-made disasters.
Our projects in the area of sustainable environment include sustainable farming initiatives, waste management, greening initiatives, the building and refurbishment of sanitary facilities and many more.
We actively advocate for greater environmental sustainability at the local, national and international levels.
Each year, Soroptimists design, fundraise for, and implement thousands of projects that benefit women and girls in their communities.
To the extent that women's needs vary across the world, Soroptimist projects also take different forms. That said, most Soroptimist projects share three characteristics:
- They address a local need
- They are planned and implemented locally
- Their main purpose is to bring concrete improvement to the lives of women and girls
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