The United Nations has announced ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030’ as the theme for International Women’s Day 2017 on 8 March. A new theme is chosen every year with the aim to facilitate the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, comprising 17 goals to transform the world. The key targets for women are number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and number 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
As a service organisation of and for women in professions and business, Soroptimist International knows beter than anyone the challenges women face in the workplace and is dedicated to rectifying these problems. Some of us may even have had first-hand experience in the subtleties of gender-based inequality! Our Unions and Clubs have initiated diverse mentoring programmes, training projects and self-help courses to overcome obstacles at work and to further careers. But empowerment can also come through learning a trade to gain economic self-sufficiency or through instruction in one’s legal rights. It never fails to amaze me when I hear about the many innovative and creative ways our members support women and girls in their education, jobs and everyday lives!
Soroptimists around the globe will be marking International Women’s Day with special events and unique projects. I wish all women a happy and successful celebration and thank our members, in particular, for their selfless and untiring efforts to improve the lives of women and girls. As the examples shown on our new website demonstrate, we are truly making a difference!
MariaElisabetta de Franciscis
SIE President 2015-2017