The word “Soroptimist” is coined from two Latin roots: soro (sister) and optima (best, highest good). Literally translated, Soroptimist means “that which is best for women.”
Founded in Oakland, California in 1921 the Soroptimist Club is committed to serving local, national and international communities, and participating actively in decision-making at all levels of society. (Click here for in an depth article on the founding of Soroptimist.)
Soroptimists provide support and funds to women and girls so that they might fulfill their dreams and achieve their fullest potential. Soroptimists also try to address the root causes of social and economic injustices and conflict. The Soroptimist Program of Service encourages Soroptimists to become an active influence for positive change in society through awareness advocacy and action.
Soroptimist activities involve memebers in a broad range of issues that affect the health and well-being of both people and the planet. Each Soroptimist Club chooses the projects for study and action to help in the local community of further afield. This is done through a broad Program of Service covering 6 areas that aim to ensure that women and girls will:
Human Rights/Status of Women — be empowered by being afforded human rights and freedom from all forms of violence.
Education — be enabled to achieve their full potential throughout their lifespan.
Economic and Social Development — live and work in safe and equitable environments with equal opportunities for advancement.
Health — have optimal mental and physical health throughout their lifespan.
Environment — be equal partners in the process of managing natural resources, maintaining biodiversity and achieving sustainable communities.
International Goodwill and Understanding — be equal partners in the attainment of world peace, tolerance and understanding.
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