About Us

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, peaceful communities worldwide.

Soroptimist International of Western Australia is the co-ordinating body for clubs in the Western Australian region. Soroptimist International of Western Australia belongs to the Federation of South West Pacific.

The Word Soroptimist is related to two Latin words, “soror” meaning sister and “optima” meaning best. We say Soroptimists are women at their best helping others to be their best.

Making A Difference To Women & Girls. Soroptimist International is committed to improving the lives of women and girls through:

“Awareness – Advocacy – Action”

Soroptimist International has 90,000 members in over 3,000 clubs in 124 countries and territories.

Soroptimist International is committed to

  • Service to local, national and international communities
  • Active participation in decision-making at all levels of society

Soroptimist International has Consultative Status at the United Nations, working through Soroptimist UN Representatives.

We aim to be:

A global voice for women

Emblem

The Soroptimist emblem symbolises the aims and ideals of Soroptimism.

On a circular disc, the woman appears as a central figure, with the flowing rays of a new day forming an aureole behind her. The figure depicts the spirit of womanhood – vital steadfast and dauntless.

The female figure holds in her upraised arms a plaque bearing the word “Soroptimist”. She upholds it as a gesture of freedom and glory.

From the word “Soroptimist” the leaves and acorns of the mighty oak tree curve downward to the right, epitomising the strength, growth, progress and achievements of the organisation. Curving downward to the left are the leaves of the laurel, renowned from antiquity as the emblem of victory, typifying friendship and success.

Below the female figure, the word, “International” signifies the worldwide nature of Soroptimism.

What we do

Educate to lead

Through Awareness-raising, Advocacy and Action (at Club, Region, Federation and International levels). Soroptimists work to increase access to education and leadership for women and girls.

Through our Programme of Service, Soroptimists work within designated  Goals and Objectives. The Programme of Service is our blueprint for Awareness-raising, Advocacy and Action.

Goals and objectives

Goal 1: Soroptimist International will be a global voice for women and girls

Objectives

  1. Increase Soroptimist advocacy at the global level
  2. Increase the international profile of Soroptimist International
  3. Increase the federation’s contribution to global advocacy to promote and maintain our ECOSOC status

Goal 2: The Soroptimist federations will be linked through their efforts to improve the lives of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities.

Objectives

  1. Education (SDG 4 and most other SDGs in some way)
  2. Elimination of violence (SDGs 3,5,11,16)
  3. Economic empowerment (SDGs 1,2,7,8,9)
  4. Food security (SDGs 1,2,3,15)
  5. Healthcare (SDGs 2,3,10,11)
  6. Environmental sustainability/water and sanitation( SDGs 6,7,11,12,14,15)
  7. Conflict resolution/peace promotion (SDGs 16,11)
  8. Disaster relief, mitigation and resilience (SDGs 5,13,16)

Sustainable Development Goals

 

 

 

 

 

How we work

At club level

Much of the important Soroptimist work occurs at individual club level. In Western Australia there are approximately 300 members in 16 clubs stretching form Port Hedland to Albany. Each year club members plan fundraising and service activities with a particular focus on local communities.

At region level

Projects are also undertaken at the region level focusing on broader issues and involving all Western Australian Soroptimists. The most recent Region project Empowering disadvantaged women through education and leadership, was completed and evaluated in 2016.

Additionally, the ‘Stella Giles Award for Excellence’ is awarded regionally in recognition of significant contribution towards the Soroptimist Goals and Objectives.

Currently, plans are under way for the way forward with both the Region Project and the Stella Giles Award.

At federation level

Sanctuary for women – temporary shelters for victims of violence, Fiji

Every two years, clubs have the opportunity to put forward a proposal for a new Federation Project. At the recent Conference of Clubs in Sydney, it was determined that the new Federation project was to be the proposal from SI Ba to build 7 houses as temporary homes for women and children who have suffered from violence, from the death of a family earner and from homelessness as a result of a natural disaster. Each house will be built in areas where a Fijian club exists and this will facilitate maintenance and oversight of the facility and its services.

At international level

2017 – 2019 Women, Water and Leadership

THE SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT’S APPEAL 2017 – 2019, SUPPORTS PROJECTS THAT EDUCATE, EMPOWER AND ENABLE WOMEN AND GIRLS, ENSURING THEY HAVE THE CAPACITY, EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION NEEDED TO MANAGE WATER RESOURCES AND GAIN CAREERS IN WATER-RELATED PROFESSIONS.

Water is Life

Safe, accessible water is crucial to preserving life. Water fuels our bodies, cleans our homes and clothes, drives industry, generates energy and irrigates the crops which feed the popu­lation. Growth in the world’s population and indus­trialisation, together with climate change and demographic shifts, all lead to an increased demand for water. Annually, four billion people experience severe water scarcity . Additionally, 663 mil­lion people lack ready access to improved sources of drinking water (World Water Development Report 2016). Women and girls are disproportionately affected – instead of earning an income or attending school, they are forced to be the primary water carriers for their families