1. History of Soroptimist
  2. Soroptimist Vision/Mission/Values/Goals

The Soroptimist name

The first question we are often asked about Soroptimist International is: “but what does it mean?”
The name Soroptimist was coined from the Latin soror meaning sister, and optima meaning best. Soroptimist is perhaps best interpreted as ‘the best for women’. From the founding of the first Soroptimist club in Oakland, California, in 1921, through to the present day where over 3000 clubs are flourishing throughout the world, Soroptimists have continued to strive to achieve ‘the best for women’ in every sphere of their lives

1921

First Soroptimist club founded in Oakland, California. The Founder President was Violet Richardson Ward.

1924

Chartering of first Soroptimist club in London. The Founder President was Viscountess Falmouth.

Suzanne Nöel founded SI Paris, the first Soroptimist club in Europe. She later became the first President of the European Federation.

1928

Foundation of American and European Federations. Soroptimist International Association created to provide link between the Federations.

 

1934

Europe and Great Britain & Ireland form separate Federations.

1937

First Soroptimist club in Sydney, Australia.

1948

Soroptimist International Association awarded Consultative status with UNESCO.

1950

SI awarded category C Consultative status with ECOSOC. (Economic & Social Council, United Nations.)

 

1952

Foundation of International governing body of Soroptimist International.

1978

Inauguration of SI South West Pacific Federation. The Founder President was Mary Whitehead.

1984

SI granted Category 1 Consultative status (now General Consultative Status) with ECOSOC.

Soroptimist Vision

Soroptimist International is a vibrant, dynamic organisation for today’s professional and business women. We are committed to a world where women and girls together achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong and peaceful communities worldwide.

Soroptimist Mission

Soroptimists inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of members and international partnerships.

Soroptimist Values

  • Human Rights for all

  • Global peace and international goodwill

  • Advancing women’s potential

  • Integrity and democratic decision making

  • volunteering, diversity and friendship

Soroptimist Goals

  • Soroptimist International will improve the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment or enabling opportunities.

  • Soroptimist International will be a global voice for increasing access to education and leadership for women and girls.

Programme Action

We call our voluntary work “Programme Action”. Programme Action is the reason for being a Soroptimist. It reflects the Vision and the Mission of Soroptimist International.

 

Programme Objectives 2011-2015

Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) works to the goals and objectives agreed by all parts of Soroptimist International (SI), the umbrella organisation.  These goals and objectives are called the “Programme Focus” and they provide the structure, or “focus” of all our project work.  Against each objective under Goal 1 is listed (in brackets) the programme area that covers it, which links to the appropriate webpage, where you can read more about the work being undertaken in this area.

Programme Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Soroptimist International will improve the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment or enabling opportunities.

Objectives:

  1. Increase access to formal and non-formal learning opportunities.

  2. Improve access to economic empowerment and sustainable opportunities for the employment of        women.
  3. Eliminate violence against women and girls and ensure women’s participation in conflict resolution.
  4. Ensure women and girls have food security and access to the highest attainable standard of health          care.
  5. Address the specific needs of women and girls by improving environmental sustainability, and      mitigating effects of climate change and disasters.

Goal 2: Soroptimist International will be a global voice for increasing access to education and leadership for women and girls.

Objectives:

Strengthen and increase Soroptimist International’s presence as an advocate at all levels.

  1. Intensify activities and partnerships that raise the international profile and visibility of Soroptimist      International.
  2. Ensure that the foundation of Soroptimist International’s global advocacy is local and global project      activity.

 

Good projects cover several, if not most, Programme Areas.  Assistant Programme Directors are responsible for each of the Programme Areas: Economic Empowerment, Environmental Sustainability, Food Security and Healthcare, Learning Opportunities and Violence and Conflict Resolution.

“Spreading happiness... the Soroptimist way..."