Welcome to the SoroptiVoice - a blog written by worldwide Soroptimists and friends, covering a regular mix of news topics, project insights and opinion pieces, relating to the empowerment, education and enablement of women and girls.

Women Deliver - Invest in Women and Girls


DAY 4 - MAY 19  

A report by Johanna Richardsson 


WOMEN DELIVER 4th GLOBAL CONFERENCE - When the World Invests in Girls and Women, Everybody Wins!

"The final day of Women Deliver has come to an end. This is by far the best conference I have ever been to and I heard many others say the same thing. It was very well organized and the speakers truly inspired us in different ways. One panel consisting of five men on stage and the Pope on video gave promising suggestions to what men can do for women. One man said something along the line with "men nothing more, women nothing less", and that they did not want to see poor solutions for poor women. The emphasis was that economic empowerment will lead to political empowerment and that is what is necessary in order for real change to be possible and last. Committed leadership is another key ingredient.

Quite a lot people came up to our Soroptimist stand at Bella Center to thank us for the work that Soroptimist International carry out in their countries. Others said that they had heard of us and were wondering whether we had clubs in their home country. Many people wanted to know what Solvatten was and how it worked and we gladly demonstrated just that. Linda Schang from Stockholm contributed with steady knowledge about the company and gave useful instructions to the rest of us. “Solvatten is combined water treatment and solar water heater system typically used in situations where water resources are scarce and prone to contamination” ( This improves lives of many. Whilst walking around the stands we saw many projects that might be interesting for us to support further along the way. To partner up was advice we heard more than once during our days at Women Deliver. New ideas and suggestions started to take form and it will be fun to try to make some of them come true when back in our countries and clubs.

Image: Sandra Millar is from South Africa and runs Dignity Dreams teaching girls about menstruation and how you can use sanitary protection so that girls can go to school during their periods. Hers is an important job where you see a simple solution make a huge impact. In this photo Sandra stands together with her co-worker and representatives from Soroptimist International. We are especially happy about the fact that SI President Yvonne Simpson travelled from New Zealand and joined us in Denmark.

The final panel was lead by the hilariously funny and intelligent Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN. This might have been the highlight of the week. We were shown a video where Hillary Rodham Clinton talked about how to take the vision from the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing to action right here, right now. Many change makers gathered on stage to say one last thing. Abelone Melese, hip hop artist and Unicef National Ambassador, Ethiopia sang to us. So did Yvonne Chaka Chaka, and everyone stood up and nearly everyone danced. The atmosphere was very powerful. The music helped manifest new knowledge and insights. Never have I felt more empowered. Now it is up to us to keep the momentum going.

Image: Our new brochure made by the Nordic Collaboration Team together with Vass Form was placed on tables all around Bella Center as well as handed out in person. Five different projects that we support are presented along with general information and contact.

We did our best in representing Soroptimist International at this historical event and we had four extraordinary days!

Thank you for now and best wishes!"

Johanna Richardsson



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