SISA President Sally Currin on the abduction of 200 Nigerian school girls:
We watch in absolute disbelief at what has happened and how the days and weeks are passing without finding the girls. This is a REAL NIGHTMARE and, of course, a huge step back for the progress that has been made in the education of girls in Nigeria. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms and stand in solidarity with Soroptimists in Nigeria as they protest and fight for the fundamental human rights of women and girls.
In this week’s address, US First Lady Michelle Obama honoured all mothers on Mother’s Day and offered her thoughts, prayers and support in the wake of the unconscionable terrorist kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls. I urge you to find the time to watch this address on YouTube. Just cut and paste this link onto your URL web browser bar: http://youtu.be/PAncJ3nuczI
SISA President Sally Currin on the abduction of 200 Nigerian school girls:
Clitoraid helps FGM victims obtain restorative surgery to reverse FGM effects
NAIROBI, Kenya, April 23, 2014/ — Following the tragic death of a 13-year old Kenyan girl who underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) last Monday, an organization that helps FGM victims obtain restorative surgery to reverse FGM effects, is urging Kenyan Health Secretary James Macharia to open Kenya’s first clitoral repair hospital.
“FGM reversal surgery, which restores clitoral functioning, is a powerful deterrent to the barbaric, cruel and dangerous practice of female genital mutilation,” said Clitoraid (http://www.clitoraid.org) Communications Director Nadine Gary. “Why do something so unpleasant and painful when the results can easily be undone?”
Clitoraid, which is in the final stages of opening a state-of-the-art clitoral repair clinic in Burkina Faso, also organized a humanitarian mission in Bobo Dioulasso last month in which 38 FGM patients recovered clitoral function.
“Four American volunteer doctors traveled to Burkina Faso to do those surgeries, and thanks to them, those 38 patients will now enjoy their lives as complete women,” Gary said. “The same humanitarian mission must be organized in Kenya without delay. Countless FGM victims have written to us from Kenya, and they’re begging us to provide the service in Kenya. They need our help to regain their sense of dignity and their capacity for physical pleasure.”
Gary said her organization has written to James Macharia offering to come and train a Kenyan surgeon to do the clitoral repair procedure free of charge if he or she is willing to learn the technique.
A pan-African FGM conference organized by Burkina Faso’s First Lady, Chantal Compaore, was held April 24-26 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. “No time should be wasted, since we must act at once to save lives!” said Gary
The Soroptimist International Southern Africa Network (SISAN), in partnership with the task force of the Proposed SI African Federation is hosting the Soroptimist International Future Africa Federation (SIFAF) Conference in Pretoria, Greater Metropolitan City of Tshwane, Gauteng, South Africa from Thursday 20 March to Saturday 22 March, 2014. Members of SI South Africa (SISA) form the organising committee. The aim of the Conference is to lay the foundation for the Future Africa Federation.
Please see the project below. This such a perfect project for us…and a national collaboration would make it so much more powerful in every way.
Why we need your support
Every time you donate money, sewing machines, over lockers or polycotton material you are helping us achieve our two goals:
• To distribute 1 000 packs per month to girls and women.
Our market research indicates that young girls have the greatest need for our Dignity Dreams packs – it is them who miss up to 60 school days per year; marry too young and have their own children at an age when they should be experiencing the joys of youth.
• To create sustainable employment by giving previously unemployed women and men the opportunity to acquire a skill and earn a decent wage.
Every Dignity Dreams pack purchased means that the previously unskilled, unemployed women and men we employ, will earn a decent wage and be able to support and educate their families! Dignity Dreams packs are proudly made and produced in South Africa.
Our approach to doing business
1) Partnerships – Start conversations between girls, women, community and church leaders, social workers, volunteers about taboos, gender and human rights and misinformation regarding their bodies. By strengthening our partnerships we will have a measurable impact on communities and societies;
2) Transfer skills to previously unemployed women and men and set up protective workshops;
3) Ensure that our environment is not polluted by sanitary wear.
For more information and banking details contact:
Sandra Millar firstname.lastname@example.org
Melodie Heyns email@example.com
Tel 012 430 2630 or 082 555 4905
Morocco aims to repeal part of its penal code allowing rapists who marry their victims to go free, according to lawmakers.
Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code is a controversial holdover from the North African kingdom’s colonial era that has in recent years resulted in some rape victims committing suicide.
The Commission of Justice, Legislation and Human Rights, part of the Moroccan parliament’s lower house met on Wednesday, 8 January and voted unanimously to repeal the provision of Article 475 that allows a man who rapes a minor to go free if the victim marries the assailant.
Moroccan civil society has aimed to cancel the controversial law for decades, but it was the death of Amina Filali, a 16-year-old who killed herself by drinking rat poison, that forced lawmakers to address the issue, after a public outcry drove Moroccans into the streets.
Click below to join thousands who are demanding reform of this rape law:
Message from Margaret Oldroyd, President: Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Ltd
It is with the greatest sorrow that I have just learned of the death of former President Nelson Mandela. Flags are already at half-mast in London to show the respect with which he was held in the UK.
I am sure that this tribute will be repeated in countries across the world. He was one of the most remarkable statesmen of this or any time, earning the admiration of men and women of peace everywhere for his integrity and matchless courage in bearing witness to the truth at enormous personal cost.
David Cameron said tonight that ‘a light had gone out’. While that is true in one sense, I believe that the light of his example will live on and be used in many future situations, where violence is threatened, to show that there is another way. That is the most wonderful legacy – a light to live in the hearts of men. South Africa has every right to be enormously proud of one of Africa’s greatest sons – an outstanding world leader.
On behalf of their sisters across the Federation, I send your members our deepest sympathy at this time of national mourning.
“This is a sad day which reminds us of the gap that is going to be part of our lives now that our revered leader and icon has departed. We need to be acutely aware of the work we have to do, to keep his legacy alive …. through our projects” Sally Currin President of Soroptimist International South Africa said.
In his inaugural speech as the first president of our republic, Nelson Mandela expressed his dream for all who live here, saying: “Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves.” We are faced with many challenges and we still have many hills to climb in our quest for freedom and democracy. Soroptimist International South Africa will strive to heed your call, Tata, in working towards peace, freedom and a society free of violence where women and children enjoy respect and dignity.
On 15 November a group of 11 Soroptimists from SI Southern England, accompanied by one Soroptimister started an extensive tour of South Africa, visiting all eight clubs in the country. Read more about their experience and learn about Soroptimist projects by following their blog at
We wish them a wonderful, safe and productive time in our beautiful country.
Letter from Pumza
Dear Soroptimist members,
I am Pumza Mdlatu and I am one of the girls you sponsored with a high school bursary at St James (RC) secondary school in Schauderville. I am currently studying at Nelson MandelaMetropolitan University (George campus) doing my 2nd year BCom accounting and my aim is to become a Chartered Accountant. I know it is not the science route I always thought I would go since I did Math and Science at school, but I later realised that science is not my thing and now I am in love with accounting.
I wrote this email to thank you all for everything that you have done for me. The opportunity for the education that I received at high school is the foundation of where I am right now. You have made those years very easy for me as I had only my studies to worry about and not school fees and any other financial matters towards school because you took care of it. My parents and I are very grateful for all of that.
I wish you all many more successful years with helping young girls like me.
It is much appreciated.
The early months of 2013 were marked by an appalling escalation of violence, rape, abuse and brutality. South Africans were shocked out of complacency due to the increasing severity of these crimes, as well as the fact that many of the perpetrators were known to their victims.
In order to understand the social processes and fragmentation that have contributed to the present conjuncture; how such an aberration can take place in a society where the dignity, corporal integrity, and equality of all are upheld in the Bill of Rights enshrined in the Constitution, and hopefully provide an indication of the kind of interventions required to arrest this pattern of violence and to restore human dignity and security to all, the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference Parliamentary produced a briefing paper on this issue. They believe the complexity of violence as a social phenomenon with its many ramifications needs to be studied in order to be effectively countered. Read more. Human dignity and gender-based violence