Presidents Message


A photo of SI President Sharon Fisher

Photo: Sharon Fisher

“As we all continue to adjust to a new way of being, the true scale and far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to take shape. With a third of the world population currently on some form of a lockdown, a recent statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, noted that the sheer number of people now staying at home, meant increasing risks of what she named a ‘shadow pandemic’, namely violence against women; violence within the home.

Although very real concerns are ongoing for older women, frontline health care workers and the millions of refugees and migrants in camps and detention centres, our position as Soroptimists places us in a position of strength – not just because of the friendship and solidarity we are lucky to enjoy, being part of our global organisation, but also because of our ability and experience in supporting and empowering women, girls, and communities most in need. Please take care of one another, reach out and be kind during these difficult times. If we do this, we will be stronger going forward, when our presence, commitment and dedication will be so greatly needed. I  am pleased to share this joint message with our Federation Presidents, as we often say – we are stronger together.”

Sharon Fisher, President, Soroptimist International.


Photo: Tina Wei-Kang Pan

“Dear Soroptimist Sisters,

Greetings from Soroptimist International of the Americas. I hope you and your family are safe and well during this challenging time.

Here in SIA, we have been working hard to keep our impact moving forward. We know women and girls are more vulnerable than ever, and we are doing everything possible to continue to serve them through our Dream Programs. Our program team has devised resources to help our members do just that.

We have started a campaign on our SIA Facebook page to lift spirits and help us cope in these difficult times. I encourage Soroptimists from all our federations to check it out and add to the inspiration with stories of your own.

Being a Soroptimist right now is very comforting. It’s a good feeling to be part of this worldwide community of friendship and support. We are all in this together, and we will all get through it together.

Looking forward to brighter days ahead.”

Tina Wei-Kang Pan, President, Soroptimist International of the Americas.


A photo of SIE President Anna Wszelaczyńska

Photo: Anna Wszelaczyńska

“In times of a Global Health Emergency we have to stay at home. For us home is a safe placer, but it is not the same for all women. Many are confined with their oppressors, with no escape possible.

We must advocate and take actions calling states to implement their legal obligations to shelter and protect women who experience domestic violence and are forced to live with their violent spouses. Women are at risk of poverty while the economy is shut down and after the virus, when it would have shrunk significantly.

Let’s look around and think how we can help others because ‘We Stand Up for Women’.”

Anna Wszelaczyńska, President, Soroptimist International of Europe.


A photo of SIGBI President Isobel Smith

Photo: Isobel Smith

“With all the tragic things that are happening in the world as a result of the coronavirus, now might seem like an unusual time to talk about being positive.  Yet, staying positive is a core ingredient in the recipe for coping successfully in a crisis. Now, more than ever, is the time for us to value each other.

Members are volunteering to help in call centres, doing shopping for vulnerable neighbours, members who are health care professionals are at work, and there are so many more stories about how we are continuing to make a difference in others’ lives. Members are staying in touch with each other and still finding ways to improve the lives of women and girls whether that is through Advocacy, Service or Fundraising.

We will come out of this and perhaps we will understand, even more than we did, the importance of relationships and community.”

Isobel Smith, President, Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland. 

A photo of SISWP President Anusha Santhirasthipam

Photo: Anusha Santhirasthipam

“While the pandemic is impacting our daily routines, it is comforting to know that amid the uncertainty, there are still moments of strength and hope that showcase the resilience of Soroptimists, sharing and caring to help us get through this together. There are stories of Soroptimist clubs and members buying groceries, sewing masks and personal protection clothing for frontline workers, helping the elderly, the less abled and even strangers who are unable to leave their homes – beacons of hope, inspiring their local communities to come together.

Despite quarantines and social distancing, connections are still being made all around the world. Let it go viral as we spread love, hope and joy, be it through our cooking, music, art, yoga, meditation or education programmes online. Please continue to share your moments of care and kindness during this pandemic – heartwarming photos and inspiring videos that demonstrate our human connection. This is a unique time in which we can slow down, reflect, listen, and show gratitude towards one another. May we always look for the silver lining in times of duress, appreciate the goodness in people and despite the uncertainty, know that there is hope and resilience in the world.”

Anusha Santhirasthipam, President, Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific.


  1. jennie 1 year ago 7th May 2020

    Thank you all for your encouragement

  2. Vicky Katsari 1 year ago 7th May 2020

    Dear Sisters,Thank you for your inspiring messages.The moments that we live are unique. Lets try to be patient, to stand for each other, to learn, to care , to contribute and to spread love and empowerment as only Soroptimists know. A better world has risen up. Lets continue to be a part of it.

    Vicky Katsari
    SI Athens East Club, Greece

  3. Renu Bhardwaj 1 year ago 7th May 2020

    Dear Presidents…what a wonderful initiative taken up by each one of you. It uplifts our morale in times like this…when the future is uncertain , each one is coping with the trying times..learning to take each day at a time and trying to adapt to the changes. We in our club keep holding meetings I personally talk to all the single members. We have reached out to communities by giving donation for the essential needs of the construction workers, sending masks through the police to the local administration for the cleaners and emergency workers and donated sanitary napkins to the women of the underprivileged community.
    Each one of your messages have come at a time when we really needed them. Thank you.
    In Soroptimism
    Renu Bhardwaj
    SI Pune Metro East

  4. Leigh Ellwood-Brown 1 year ago 8th May 2020

    Great to see the Federation Presidents with our SI President in collaboration through their comments in the SI Global Voice.

  5. Shreelatha Narayanan 1 year ago 8th May 2020

    Thank you. Soroptimist offers a great platform to connect.

  6. Shreelatha Narayanan 1 year ago 8th May 2020

    Thank you. Well said.

    • Chantal mignon 1 year ago 19th May 2020

      De soroptimisten van Hasselt zijn heel actief en bijzonder verbonden
      De serviceclub maakt ons allemaal sterker en enthousiaster. Ben zeer fier daar bij te behoren.

  7. Margaret Clarke 11 months ago 18th November 2020

    There is a road ahead that we can conquer as Soroptimists if we continue our efforts. It is heartrending to hear of troubles abroad, but equally heartening and uplifting when we learn of our Sisters in other countries having an impact for good.

    Soroptimism has given me more self confidence, I am proud to belong to Soroptimist International and know now that my tiny contribution does matter however small.
    Thank you

  8. Rina Dupriet 10 months ago 19th December 2020

    Le Soroptimist développe de par le monde des actions en direction de l’éducation des femmes et des filles afin de permettre une égalité des chances pour toutes!
    Nous restons fidèles à nos valeurs et unies toutes ensemble pour que nos actions rayonnent dans tous les pays!
    Rina Dupriet
    Past Présidente de l’Union Française du SI
    Past Vice Présidente Europe du SI
    SI UN representative


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