Global Voice is the monthly e-newsletter from Soroptimist International, working together to educate and empower women around the world.
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Welcome to Global Voice with all the news from March 2016. In this edition you will find information on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60), an exciting event for Soroptimist International, with 80 delegates making their way to New York - the city that never sleeps - to take part and advocate on behalf of women and girls worldwide. International Women's Day is celebrated annually on 8 March and this year's theme was 'Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality'. On 23 March, Nepal hosted its first Girl Summit as part of its commitment to end child marriage by 2030. The event was opened by Rt. Honourable President Bidhya Devi Bhandari with His Royal Highness Prince Harry of the United Kingdom. Soroptimist International Immediate Past President, 2013-2015, Ann Garvie, reports on the 'Conference on the Future Federation of Africa', held on 17-19 March, Madagascar, and we also take a snapshot look at some of the Soroptimist projects taking place across the world.

In stories from CSW60, International Director of Advocacy Pat Black, kept us up-to-date with news from New York and the actions of Soroptimist delegates advancing gender equality at the global level.
Click on the image above to read more.

CSW60 - Themes and issues

As CSW‬ got underway on the 14 March, SI took a look at the themes of this year's Commission on the Status of Women and explored the big issues surrounding the empowerment of women and the eradication of gender violence. Read the full news story by clicking HERE.

Soroptimist International created a Flickr album to showcase some of the images taken by Soroptimists in New York this CSW60. Click on the images below to be taken to Flickr where you can view the photographs.

Brave stories of young women driving change

One of many SI facebook posts shining the light on CSW60, "Women & Girls: From Adversity to Hope" is a session that truly inspired Soroptimist International President, Yvonne Simpson. In the picture (below), Yvonne stands together with two of the five amazing and hugely inspiring speakers: Consolee Nishimwe and Naila Amin. Consolee is a motivational speaker, and survivor of the Rwanda genocide, releasing her memoir 'Tested to the Limit: A Genocide Survivor’s Story of Pain, Resilience and Hope' in 2012. A voice for others, her daily mantra is 'Never lose hope'. On the left of Yvonne is Naila Amin, a survivor of forced marriage who now lives in New York. Studying social work, Naila aims to specialize in working with survivors of forced marriage and open up a group home. These brave stories show how young women are driving change in their communities. Be sure to join us on Facebook to keep up to date with Soroptimist and world news.

Reporting from CSW60

Hafdís Karlsdóttir reported for SI from CSW60. In the first of two blogs, Hafdis brought news of 'Sharing the Care: How to recognize, reduce, and redistribute', an event co-hosted by MenEngage Alliance, UN Women and the Permanent Mission of Iceland. Additionally Hafdis visited 'Women in Water Diplomacy', where Soroptimist International President, Yvonne Simpson and President Elect and President of Women for Water Partnership, Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, shared their experiences and offered recommendations on how to increase the professional participation of women in water diplomacy. Read the blog from 14 March by clicking HERE.

Soroptimist International takes the stage

 Soroptimist International President Yvonne Simpson was invited to an Interactive panel discussion for the Priority Theme, on Key Strategies for gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Yvonne spoke on 'women's empowerment and its link to sustainable development' on behalf of Soroptimist International, agreeing that gender equality goes well beyond SDG5 to feature in all SDGs, and posing questions to the panel including: Whether they have resources to ensure gender differences are accounted for, what specific data would be collected and how they plan to ensure that women and girls have the opportunity to be change agents and decision makers at ALL levels. Click HERE to watch Yvonne on UN Web TV (1.23:40).
(link is to an external website and therefore subject to availability).

Delighted scholarship winner reflects on CSW60

Soroptimist International of South West Pacific scholarship winner, Munkhzul Serod of SI Erdenet, reflects on her "really valuable experience for myself and my club" following her recent visit to CSW60.
Read a blog written by Munkhzul by clicking HERE.

Keeping the window open

'Keep the Window Open' was an event held at CSW60 organised by the Permanent Mission of Iceland to the UN, in cooperation with the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police and Women‘s NGOs in Iceland. In her second blog, Hafdís Karlsdóttir reports on the event and the expert panelists focusing on priorities to oppose violence in Icelandic society and its detrimental consequences.
Click HERE to read more.

 Angelina Akhvlediani (above right) was given a great send off at CSW, as she moves on from her role as SI UN Representative to explore new challenges. Thanked by Soroptimist International President, Yvonne Simpson for the commitment shown in her work at the United Nations, we join Yvonne in wishing Angelina every success and happiness for the future.
SI UN Representatives Marie D'Amato-Rizzi and Bette Levy (above centre) will be continuing to represent Soroptimist International at the UN headquarters in New York, so crucial to SI's advocacy efforts, and we thank them for their continuing work as SI UN Representatives.

Global news

NEWS: KATHMANDU. On Wednesday 23 March, Nepal hosted its first ever Girl Summit as part of its commitment, following the 2014 London Girl Summit, to end child marriage by 2030. The event was opened by Rt. Honourable President Bidhya Devi Bhandari with His Royal Highness Prince Harry of the United Kingdom looking on. Nearly half of all women in Nepal between the ages of 20 and 49 were married before their 18th birthday, of these, 15 per cent were not even 15 years old at the time of marriage. The Girl Summit, the first event of its kind in Nepal, is part of the Government's commitment to end child marriage, and represents an important step in changing gender relations in the country and empowering women and girls to unlock their potential. Read the full news story HERE.
(Link is to an external website and therefore subject to availability)

Picture courtesy of Unicef Nepal

Global news

NEWS: MADAGASCAR. Ann Garvie, Soroptimist International Immediate Past President, 2013-2015, brings news of the 'Conference on the Future Federation of Africa', held in Madagascar on 17-19 March, 2016, the second all African meeting, following the event held two years ago in Pretoria, South Africa. Click HERE to read more.

Global news

NEWS: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY (IWD) 8 March 2016. Soroptimist International President, Yvonne Simpson said: "Today, International Women's Day, is an opportunity for us all to come together in unity to raise awareness, advocate for gender equality and to act in unison".
Click HERE to read the message from Soroptimist International President, Yvonne Simpson. Click HERE to visit UN Women and catch up on news from IWD 2016.

Global news

NEWS: HeForShe: HeForShe‬ Arts Week March 8-15, spotlighted efforts towards gender equality and women’s rights. UN Goodwill Ambassadors Emma Watson and Forest Whitaker (actor), joined a conversation on gender equality and women’s rights, alongside Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women and others. Click HERE to watch the conversation. (Link is to an external website and therefore subject to availability).

Soroptimist International oral statement

Eradicating violence against women and girls is of course a critical issue for Soroptimist International. This year for CSW60, twenty organisations supported Soroptimist International's statement on actions needed be taken to ensure no woman or girl experiences violence. Thank you to Zonta International, White Ribbon Campaign Ireland, White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan, Solar Cookers International, BPW International, Graduate Women International - GWI, Instituto Promundo, Sonke Gender Justice, SPSSI, International Alliance of Women , Armenian International Women's Association - AIWA and others for their support. If you missed it, you can read the statement HERE.


'Educate to Lead: Nepal' President's Appeal resources

If you visit the Soroptimist International website you will find a host of Appeal resources for you to use when sharing information regarding the President's Appeal 2015-2017 'Educate to Lead: Nepal'. If you follow the link below you will find a PowerPoint of images, a series of postcards, for both internal and external use, and a copy of the 'Educate to Lead: Nepal' logo.  If you wish to donate or show your support for the President's Appeal, please contact your Federation directly or email for further information. 

For the Appeal resources please CLICK HERE

Project showcase

This month we take a look at another wonderful mix of projects from Soroptimist International clubs around the world. With projects focusing on eliminating domestic violence, combating cyber bullying, building toilets in schools and celebrating women's right to vote, click on the images below to catch up with projects and activities sure to inspire you!


At Convention, attendees were given a Soroptimist International special brochure to celebrate the 2011 - 2015 Quadrennium. Educate, Empower, Enable includes features on both See Solar, Cook Solar and Birthing in the Pacific, plus two projects from each of the Federations and lots more. A PDF of the brochure is now available to read or for download, from the members area of the SI website, and also from the home page (lower section on the left). Click on the image below to be taken to the homepage. We do hope you enjoy reading it!

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