Discrimination takes many forms and affects the lives of millions of people. Unfair treatment can be based on race, minority status, religion, sexual orientation or gender. All these kinds of discrimination are violations of basic human rights and must be challenged. The United Nations Zero Discrimination Day, celebrated annually on 1 March since 2014, draws the world’s attention to those who suffer from social and economic exclusion due to prejudice and intolerance.


For Soroptimists it is a day to remember the millions of women and girls who face discrimination on a daily basis. It can be subtle in the workplace or at school. But the particularly heinous forms are manifest in violence and abuse. Let it be said that Soroptimists are working untiringly at the United Nations and at European institutions such as the Council of Europe and the European Women’s Lobby to combat discrimination – through Awareness, Advocacy and Action. Our Unions and Clubs are proactive in providing support by organising and/or funding, among other things, mentoring programmes, help lines and safe houses.


Every women and girl must be afforded the right to live with dignity and respect in a world free from discrimination. And Soroptimists will persist in raising our voices on behalf of those who suffer this injustice.