Soroptimist International, a worldwide organisation for women, is a global voice for women through Awareness, Advocacy and Action.
The first question we are often asked about Soroptimist is: “but what does it mean?” The name Soroptimist was coined from the Latin soror meaning sister, and optima meaning best. Soroptimist is perhaps best interpreted as ‘the best for women’. From the founding of the first Soroptimist club in 1921, through to the present day where over 3000 clubs are flourishing throughout the world, Soroptimists have continued to strive to achieve ‘the best for women’ in every sphere of our lives
‘Railing Against Abuse ‘
United Nations Day of elimination of violence against women.
United we stand!
Some of the things we do:
Action against Domestic Abuse
Support our local Women’s Refuge
Raise awareness of Human Trafficking
Support our local hospital
Help our most vulnerable people locally and overseas
Lobby for Change
Knitting blankets and twiddlemuffs
Educate, Empower and Enable women and girls
We have no religious or political affiliation.
The origins of SI Bath started with the foundation of the Rotary Club in Bristol in 1917, at a time when women were campaigning for the right to vote and were already developing active working lives.
The idea of a Women’s Rotary club followed a letter in the Bristol Times and Mirror by Miss Ethel Parr, building on the success of the men’s Rotary Club. As a result, the officers of the Rotary Club of Bristol invited 18 women to tea at the Royal Hotel on College Green in Bristol in May 1920 and the first meeting of the Bristol Venture Club was held a month later with 50 members. Membership was open to working women or women engaged in honorary social or philanthropic work. The Bristol club was so successful that they founded the Bath club in 1925, with other clubs springing up in several towns around London and in the North of England shortly afterwards.
At the same time (1921), the Soroptomist movement formed in Oakland, California and the first UK Soroptimist Club – in Central London – was formed in 1924. In 1930, the two organisations merged to form the basis of the Soroptomist International that we know today, growing to a membership of over 90,000 women across the world, making us the world’s largest classified service organisation for women.
Celebrating 90 years in 2015
Each Soroptimist International club is based in a geographical area, such as a town or city. These clubs are grouped into Regions or National Associations, and grouped further into the four Federations. These Federations are Great Britain and Ireland, the Americas, Europe, and the South West Pacific.