Soroptimist International
The Global Voice

We would like to welcome you to this Special Edition newsletter to tell you about our upcoming coalition with Peace One Day in respect of International Day of Peace, 21 September 2012. This collaboration will work to create mass awareness of their inspiring ‘Global Truce 2012’ campaign and encourage global collective action towards ‘Reducing Domestic Violence’.  Click HERE for further information .


What can you do this month to help women and girls around the world?

International Day of Peace: 21 September, 2012

Over the last 10 years, International Peace Day has been proved as an opportunity for life-saving activities and action by individuals worldwide. On 21 September 2012, Peace One Day is calling for a day of ceasefire and non-violence ­– they are calling it the Global Truce 2012 campaign. The hope is that this will be the largest global reduction of violence ever recorded on one day – and the largest ever gathering of individuals in the name of peace.

What we want to do as Soroptimists is raise awareness of domestic violence as part of International Peace Day and contribute to a collective effort in order to reduce levels of violence against women and girls. The events you choose will contribute to the largest global reduction of violence ever recorded in one day. Last year’s results on 21 September were outstanding. A 77% reduction of violence was recorded; In Afghanistan, the Taliban agreed to cease fire and allowed health workers in for just one day. This allowed health workers to vaccinate children in normally untouchable areas. This isn’t just one day of action; it is a foundation for peace and for some, a difference between life and death.

First, add your group, community or organisation to the growing list of members of the Peace One Day coalition, by clicking HERE.  By joining, you will receive exclusive ongoing communications about the progress of the campaign and you will be committing, on behalf of Soroptimist International, to observe Peace Day 21 September 2012 in some way and thereby help us reduce the levels of violence on the day.

Next, organise an action.  Whether it's through music, sports, dance or art, Peace Day is about spreading peace your way. Whatever action you take to mark this day is up to you, however, if you are stuck for ideas then perhaps one of the ideas below can get you started:

Dance for Peace

We’re asking you to grab a partner and dance on Peace Day. Dance is open to everyone, everywhere. You can dance with your friends, family or colleagues - at your school, office or local park. It’s your dance event!

Hold a film screening
Film screening is an effective way to create awareness around the problem of domestic violence. Invite friends and colleagues, perhaps people with little knowledge of the issue. Discuss and debate after what you think could help in your area, what more could you do as an individual or as a group.


Hold a workshop where people can create something relevant. Show us your creations so that we can show others.

Hold hands for Domestic Violence

Show a display of solidarity on this day. Link hands and display the reason for your action.

Social Media

Use Facebook, use Twitter, use social media tools to spread the word of peace. If everyone sends one post regarding the problem of worldwide domestic violence on this one day we will reach people and influence them.


Lobby your government on domestic violence. Research current campaigns being held in your area and add your voice!

Soroptimists participate in a Peace Vigil in the UK

Peace Vigil

Hold a Peace Vigil - something that symbolises peace and shows your stand against domestic violence. A peace vigil is a way of expressing a commitment to peace visibly in the world. Peace vigils do not - by themselves - stop wars or transform the structures of violence. However they are valuable as a visible presence and part of a culture of peace.

Let us know about how you will participate on this day, before or after, through our social media channels, programme reporting database, or by replying to this email. You can also use this form from the Peace One Day organisers.

This is a great opportunity for a day for peace, a great opportunity for women and girls and a great opportunity for Soroptimist International to be part of something powerful and positive.


How is SI influencing international policy?

Using film to advocate for women and girls - a world in which violence against women and girls exists is a world without peace

SI has launched a new film! Taken at CSW 56 (March 2012), it includes a breadth of voices from many places, ages, and genders. It addresses violence against women in rural areas, a major barrier to achieving global peace.  Click below to watch the six minute film.  And don't forget to spread the word and share!

We would like to take this opportunity to express thanks, to everyone, that made this video possible.

UN Rep news in brief

Our UN Representative in New York, Lois Beilin, recently attended a conference on CEDAW celebrating 30 years of work. For 30 years the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has reviewed reports in consultation with governments and civil society to make sure that policies are gender sensitive and gender responsive. In the reporting period July/August 2012 the CEDAW committee carried out a review of 7 countries, 6 of which have Soroptimist International members. These were Indonesia, Bulgaria, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand and Samoa. Progress made in these countries has been notable. With the CEDAW guidelines and our on the ground work along with other NGO’s, progress and development continue.  Click HERE to read more. 

This session was a timely reminder of the valuable work of Soroptimist International, and why it is so important that everyone participating in the Soroptimist movement continue to advocate for the rights of women and girls, particularly in the context of working towards global peace.


Learn more about global news and events affecting women and girls

Domestic Violence and its impact on peace

Domestic Violence is one of the leading causes of injury and illness for women worldwide. More women are at risk of domestic violence than cancer, motor accidents, malaria and war. Close to 6 out of 10 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Half of women who are killed are done so at the hands of their partners.
Domestic Violence occurs across the globe, affecting millions of people, every day. Peace Day 21 September is about reducing this violence. If it can be reduced in such a way, then imagine the foundation that we could bring in order to build on. It is getting people to sit up and recognise what they are doing, and if this can alleviate women and girls, if just for one day from harm, then it is worth it.  Click HERE to learn more.

A Message from SI President, Alice Wells, to commemorate International Peace Day

Dear Soroptimist Friends,
Imagine a world where there is no violence.  Imagine a world where women and girls are safe.  September 21st is a day where we can all become involved in the peace process, globally and locally. 

This International Day of Peace has been adopted by every member state in the United Nations.  This is a day of global unity.  This is a day that will give combatants the opportunity to pause and reflect on how violence affects their people, their economy, their environment.

Last year in Afghanistan on this day of peace, there was a 77% decrease in violence.  Much needed medical supplies were allowed through to small communities.  Children were able to receive immunizations.

What will you do in your local community to support this Day of Peace on September 21st?  We need to make this a reality throughout the world for 365 days, not just for one day.  But….the way to begin is one day at a time. 

Please add your name to this movement and become involved in creating a foundation for lasting peace. 

Warm regards,


In other news...

Momentous Decision taken by Women Leaders at Cambridge

Senior decision makers of Soroptimist International, a global movement linking women across the world which seeks to transform the lives of women and girls through service, met this week in Cambridge, England. The Board members, drawn from across all continents to represent the four Federations who are members of Soroptimist International, made the momentous decision to apply for charitable status.  Read the full story HERE.

Exciting new developments for SI's website

It’s been a year and a half since we launched the new and improved website and we thought it was in need of a refresh! Over the last few months we have worked hard to update and brighten up our web pages making the site more user friendly and interactive.  Highlights include a new interactive map, a social media bar, a new online reporting system for our UN work (public site coming soon), and a tag cloud on the homepage which shows the "hot topics" in SI's global policy work at a glance.  Please take some time to explore these exciting and engaging developments! 

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