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Women’s suffrage is a basic right[1], which has been acquired less than a century – and sometimes less than a few decades – ago in many European countries. By registering to vote and exercising their rights to vote, women make their voices heard at the local, national and global levels, and contribute to democratic processes and decision-making. The SIE Advocacy team has engaged the help of Union Advocacy Coordinators to raise awareness of this important responsibility.

 

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s vote in Poland in October 2018, Polish Soroptimists decided to inspire young women to register to vote. With the help of young designer Julia Karwan-Jastrzębska, SI Club Warsaw created a poster to encourage them to vote for the first time and celebrate this special date. They liaised with the city and arranged for the poster be shown on Warsaw’s 30 bus lines for a week. The largest newspaper in Poland published the poster and shared it on their social media.

 

The Polish effort inspired the SIE Advocacy team to initiate a campaign throughout the Federation to encourage women to register and vote. This action is especially relevant in view of the upcoming European Union elections, which will take place from 23rd– 26th May 2019. Can you imagine the impact our organisation could make if every Soroptimist lobbied her local government so that this poster can be shared as widely as possible before the elections? And it’s an excellent way to raise awareness of Soroptimist to women!

 

By encouraging women to vote, Soroptimists aim to help empower them to stand up for women – both themselves and others. It is in line with our objectives to defend women’s rights and promote women’s empowerment, while reinforcing solidarity and friendship across borders.

 

 

[1] https://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/cedaw/pages/cedawindex.aspx

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