People are fond of labelling.

We do this from the very first time we meet, or worse, sometimes even before meeting in person, based on what we have heard or read.


As a Soroptimist, you may have heard the label ‘feminist’ applied to you, or perhaps even ‘last century charity ladies.’  Unfair and inaccurate when we are voicing what we Soroptimists do: advocating for female rights and running projects to empower women. The awful negative connotations associated with some labels are very tricky, as they make us lose all credibility. For some, we are a Service Club, nothing more than an outdated female members’ organisation.  In contrast, for others, we are a high-level, globally respected NGO.


It is one thing when an individual informally gives us an incorrect label.  It is much worse when that label is repeated in the press, when a journalist is not cautious or careful enough when writing an interesting article about us.


And these labels are very sticky: once you are given a label, it takes a lot of energy to remove it and replace it with something that showcases the rich mission we stand for.


The strange thing is that these labels vary from Federation to Federation, from Union to Union, and from Club to Club. So, where do we stand as ‘a global voice for women’?


Join me in finding the right recipe to undo our sticky, outdated labels, showcase our dynamism, and be fully heard. After all, we Soroptimists are forward-thinking women, trained in communicating, unafraid to think outside of the box, and responsible for developing state-of-the-art projects. We just don’t fit into boxes with sticky, dusty labels!


Dive into our website and social media for inspiration on wording and data – informing and asking is so much better than assuming!


Let’s get rid of these tricky, sticky labels and trigger each other to proudly voice who we are from the start.


Yours sincerely,


Carolien Demey

SIE President 2021-2023



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