The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are divided into 5 groups:

  • People
  • Planet
  • Prosperity
  • Partnerships
  • Peace

The 5Ps form the bases of Soroptimist Internationals Programme focus.

Assistant Programme Director (APD)

There is and APD for each of the programme (project) areas, she is the centre of information for her programme area in the Federation. She answers questions, suggests courses of action, channels causes for concern both “up” and “down” and collects and collates information from Programme Focus Reports.

Awareness, Advocacy and Action

This is Soroptimist International’s approach to its Programme Action work. Be aware of a problem, get all the facts to know that it exists, think carefully as to how the problem can be tackled to alleviate it – and then take ACTION!


These should be worn at club meetings and other Soroptimist events. A new member is presented with her badge when she is welcomed into

membership of her Club.

Beijing 1995

The Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing was attended by representatives of Soroptimist International. SI supports the strategic objectives stated in the Platform for Action. It urges governments to secure the safety of girls and women from acts of violence, and to help them overcome the consequences when violence does occur. This work is ongoing and is an important part of what SI stands for.


Byelaws are defined as a set of rules adopted by an organisation in order to manage and govern its own affairs and the behaviour of its members. Bye-Laws within SIAF Limited are also approved by its members at a Federation General Meeting.

Cambridge Office

The Headquarters of Soroptimist International, our world-wide organisation, is in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Capitation Fee

This is the amount that is levied by Federation (SIAF) to contribute to its administration costs and a contribution to the running costs of SI – our international organisation. Added to this, is the SI levy. Clubs within a National Association or Network may contribute to its running costs.


Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women – report adopted by UN in 1979; ratified by U.K. in 1986. It deals with nationality, more women into public life, differences in superannuation systems between the sexes, the availability of child-care facilities, assistance available to women carers, separate taxation for women, elimination of

sex stereotyping in schools etc.


It is the clubs and their members that are the cornerstone of our organisation. The clubs and their members deliver the Mission of Soroptimist International – “Soroptimists inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of members and international partnerships”. It is Clubs which vote on constitutional and financial matters and elect Federation, National Association, Network and Region Officers

Club committees

Each Club must have an Executive Committee and a Programme Action Committee. Clubs may have other committees e.g. Membership, and Programme Planning. Club members are encouraged to serve on a committee.

Club name

Clubs are always referred to as SI Anywhere, usually a town name or

district. In conversation we often refer to clubs by just their town name or district but the SI prefix should be included on all other communications

Club Representatives on Region / National Association

These are elected at a club’s Annual General Meeting but take office at the start of the Federation, Region, National Association / Network year in November. These members represent the clubs at the respective National Association, Network or Region meetings.

Club / Region / National Association / Network Constitutions

A Constitution is a set of “laws” that defines and governs the functions of Clubs, Regions, National Associations and Networks within SIAF. Most important is the fact that a Constitution is approved by the members it governs and therefore Constitutions may only be amended at a National or Federation General Meeting.

Club Year

The Club year runs from January to December


Every 4 years Soroptimist International has a Convention bringing together all federations.


The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was established by the United Nations in 1946. It is the Principal Global Intergovernmental Body Exclusively Dedicated to the Promotion of Gender Equality and the

Empowerment of Women.


Each Club usually produces its own list of members and contact details as a Club directory. Regions, National Associations and Networks may also produce their own directory giving details of Officers, meeting places and dates. The Federation also publishes a directory giving contact details for all Club Officers and for members of the Federation Management Board, Federation Consultative Council and the Federation Programme Action Committee. Officers of the National Associations, Regions and Network are also listed. Details of Clubs in other Federations can be found via their websites.


ECOnomic and SOCial Council of the United Nations system. ECOSOC recognises 500 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) throughout the world and gives General Consultative Status (formerly called Category 1 status) to a small proportion, of which SI is one. SI was the first women’s service organisation to attain this status. The status has to be reviewed every 4 years and depends on the reported work which SI does



Soroptimist international has five member Federations:

  • SI of the Americas (SIA)
  • SI Europe (SIE)
  • SI Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI)
  • SI South West Pacific (SISWP)
  • SI Africa Federation (SIAF)

Federation Conference

Held biennially, this is a meeting of all the clubs within a Federation. The venue changes every 2 years. This is an opportunity for you to meet Soroptimists from around Africa, discuss resolutions, make policy and

contribute through discussion workshops and so you can begin to understand the international scope of our organisation. Attending Conference is the best way to understand the work of the whole organisation and extend your horizon outside the perimeter of your own club.

Federation Management Board (FMB)

The FMB manages the Federation on a day to day basis. It consists of the Federation Officers, and elected Committee Directors.

Federation Office

SIAF does not have a physical office.

Federation Programme Action Committee (FPAC)

Federation Programme Action Committee consists of the Programme Action Officers for every country in the Federation and the Programme Director, Assistant Programme Directors and meets once a year before conference. It promotes SI’s Programme Focus and programme work throughout the Federation.

Federation President

The Federation President takes office at the time of the SIAF biennial Conference in April.

Friendship Link

Each Club may have one or more Friendship Links. The Club takes responsibility to write to another Club (usually overseas, but not always) to keep them up to date with Club activities, and to share projects, news and enthusiasms throughout the year. When you become a Soroptimist you automatically receive a hand of friendship from any Soroptimist in the world. Wherever you travel you will nearly always find a club who would be glad to welcome you to their meetings. The strength of SI is in its International connections – through email and the Internet you can communicate with clubs around the world and be part of this International



The United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development is a subsidiary body of both the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Economic and Social Council responsible for the entire

organization’s policy on sustainable development.


International Goodwill and Understanding – one of the areas which form the focus of our project work and which is co- ordinated by the Assistant Programme Director of International Goodwill and Understanding.

International Board

The SI International Board Members are the International Officers, the International Programme Director and the President, President Elect and Immediate Past President of each of the four Federations. It is responsible for revising and the SI Strategic Plan and ensuring that it is implemented.

International Convention

This takes place every four years, and the venue changes each time. At the SI Board meeting prior to the convention; the work that has been carried out in the previous four years is reviewed. New programme focus areas

are agreed and decisions made that affect our International organisation.

International President (IP)

The IP represents the whole of Soroptimist International. Her term of office is two years, and each successive IP is selected from a different Federation.


Immediate Past President.

National Association

Countries in SIAF which have five clubs or more, may form a National Association.


Non-Governmental Organisation. (Organisations which have aims and objects which coincide with one or more of the programmes of the UN).


The Non-Profit Organisation’s Act of South Africa



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Objects of Soroptimism

These have traditionally been read at the start of Soroptimist meetings and conferences. More recently, the Mission, and Vision have been read. Members usually stand when these are being read.


Public Benefit Organisation

President Elect

The member who will be taking office as President at the start the next Federation or Club term of office.

Programme Action (PA)

Programme Action is the name we use to describe the work we do at local, national and international levels and includes all the activities of SI designed to give service to the local, regional, national or international community. Programme Action is why we exist.

Programme Director

The Federation Programme Director oversees the Programme Action work of the Federation, co-ordinating the activity of the Assistant Programme Directors and communicating between Federation and Soroptimist International.

Programme Focus

The outline of topics on which SI is currently working. These are in line with the SDGs:

  • People
  • Planet
  • Prosperity
  • Peace
  • Partnerships

Programme Focus Reporting Database

Clubs report their activities in the Programme areas, describing each project, the objectives, and achievements made and lessons learnt. This database can then be used to search for activities by Programme Objective, Club, and Country etc. In this way, a picture builds up of the work being done which is vitally important to assess the progress we are making and enable effective marketing of the organisation to prospective members. It also enables lobbying and maintains our status at the United Nations.

Programme Related Statements

These are policy statements which set out the agreed Soroptimist International view on specific topics (e.g. the rights of the child). The statements are drawn together into a publication available from SI website, called “Where We Stand”.


SIAF is divided into 4 Regions:

  • North and Central
  • West
  • East
  • South

Roll call

Ceremony whereby each member stands in turn when her Club, Region, National Association or Country is named. This may also be used at club level where each member gives their name and category.


The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals with 169 targets that all 191 UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2030.


Soroptimist International. This organisation was formed in Oakland

California in 1921.


Soroptimist International of the Americas


Soroptimist International of Europe


Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland


Soroptimist International South West Pacific