Soroptimist International of Europe Factsheet
- Founded in 1921
- WfWP member since 2007
- Mission: Soroptimists inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of members and international partnerships.
- Focus area: global
- Level: local, national and international
- Main themes: education, economic empowerment, elimination of violence against women, health and sustainable environment
- Beneficiaries: 1,500,000
- Staff: 5
- Members: 35,000 individuals
- Annual budget (average): €7,500,000
Soroptimists are professional women who are engaged in their communities and who work actively on improving the lives of women and girls in these communities. Soroptimists have a global vision of the world and of women’s issues, are in touch with the challenges women face in their local communities on a daily basis and have a deep understanding of their living conditions and their rights.
Soroptimists conceptualise and implement projects to better the lives of women and girls and are ideally positioned to respond to challenges that are global in scope but need to be implemented in accordance with local realities.
Soroptimists have been advocating for women’s and girls’ rights at the local, national, and international levels since 1921 and act as a ‘global voice for women’ in different international fora and in their communities. Soroptimists International contributes to the work of CSW, CEDAW and the Human Rights Council. But also at European level (EWL and CoC), national and local.
Today, there are more than 76,000 Soroptimists around the world and nearly 35,000 across Europe, the Middle East and Africa witnessing daily the changes in our societies and working proudly to improve the lives of women and girls.
Soroptimist International of Europe (SIE) holds special consultative status at the United Nations’ ECOSOC and has participatory status at the Council of Europe and the European Women’s Lobby. SIE exchanges with these institutions and provides them with evidence-based information for the formulation of policies that advance women’s issues.
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 across the world vary, Soroptimist projects vary as well. That said, all Soroptimist projects share three characteristics:
- They address a local need
- They are conceptualised and implemented locally
- Their main purpose is to bring concrete improvement to the lives of women and girls
On average SIE supports 6.750 projects with a gross net amount of €7.5 million per year, inclusive of mentoring and scholarship projects.
Since 2007 SIE supports WASH projects, related to safe drinking water and sanitation in East Africa. Watch this video providing a brief overview of Soroptimists' work in Africa and how Club partnerships help fund projects that transform women's lives.
For more information visit the SIE website: www.soroptimisteurope.org