Soroptimist means “best for women” and that’s what we strive to be—an organization of women at their best helping other women to be their best. As a volunteer organization of business and professional women we feel uniquely qualified to help women and girls live their dreams.
It’s true that both men and women live in poverty, face discrimination and must overcome obstacles. But throughout history—in every country in the world—women and girls face additional obstacles and discrimination solely because of their gender.
Why do women and girls need our help?
Consider the following:
Gender discrimination often begins at a young age—in some cases even before birth—and girl children are devalued and discriminated against throughout the world. In many cultures, girls are considered to have little or no value, and therefore poor families often opt not to educate their female children. Without an education, women are less likely to find sustaining work at a living wage, and are more likely to remain poor throughout their lifetimes.
Because of the prevalence of gender discrimination, harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, female infanticide and pre-natal sex selection are still widespread. Additionally, the devaluation of women leads to girls and women being sold into human bondage and sexual slavery. Women also experience discrimination in food allocation and lack of access to health care, which results in lower survival rates. And women around the world experience sexual abuse and domestic violence on a daily basis.
By initiating club projects that benefit women and girls, and by honoring women who help women and girls, Soroptimist clubs and members improve the status of women and girls. Soroptimist projects and programs aid women economically, and empower them to make positive changes in their lives and their communities.
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