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63rd. Session of Commission on the Status of Women 2019

Soroptimist International Republic Of Ireland to Host
Soroptimist International Convention in Dublin, July 2023
(details >>)

UN Women

How do I join Soroptimist International Republic of Ireland?

We welcome new members to all our clubs. If you're interested in joining please go to"Contact" at the top of the page.

We will forward your enquiry to the club nearest to you, who in turn will contact and meet you to inform you about soroptimism; our goals, our work, our meetings, as well as our many social activities.

Soroptimists inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of members and partnerships

Hear Our Voices We Stand Up for Women.

National Presidents Report 2nd National Association Meeting 8th February 2020

2019 saw the end of our National Project Safe Home Safe Community. While Ireland has achieved progress towards gender equality - Sustainable Development Goal No 5, women continue to suffer violence.

During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender based Violence 25th November to 10th December, I represented Soroptimist International ROI at a number of events including Women’s Aid Femicide Watch 2019. . I have learned that the links between femicide and domestic violence are well established. That, sadly 6 women died violently in Ireland in 2019.and that 87% of these women knew their killer.  Unfortunately, reporting rates are low and conviction rates are low in cases of domestic violence.

The Domestic Violence Act 2018 provides for improvements in court processes and treatment of victims as well as a new definition of consent and the inclusion of Coercive control as an offence. Coercive control was explained by Ryan Hart who told of the control his Father had over their family eventually leading to the violent murders of his Mother Claire and Sister Charlotte at the hands of Ryan’s Father. Many of our clubs are raising awareness of domestic violence in their communities and supporting local women’s refuges.

It was great to see our club members active in their communities and on social media during the 16 Days. We must continue to advocate and lobby to help women and girls remain safe in their homes.

On 28th. November I attended the Ruhama 30th. Anniversary Conference “The Sexual Violence of Prostitution and Pornography.” This was quite a disturbing conference highlighting the harsh realities of prostitution and the increasing violence of pornography and the speakers included activists and survivors. We learned that 97% of women involved in prostitution are migrant women.

Pers-Anders Sunesson Swedish Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking spoke on the success of 20 years of the Swedish Model which criminalises the purchasers of sex. Sweden has approximately 450 prosecutions a year and there has been a a 50% decline in prostitution with 1000 women selling sex. Sweden has noted a decline in violence and no murders of women involved in prostitution.                             By  comparison Germany has 400.000 women involved in prostitution and murder of 80 prostitutes since it was legalised there in 2002. Minister Charlie Flanagan spoke on the review of The Sexual Offences Act 2018 which introduced the criminalisation of purchasers of sex. Soroptimists were active members of the Turn of the Red Light campaign which lobbied to bring in this legislation. We must continue to support this Act.

Speakers at the conference highlighted the increasing violence of the porn industry describing it as “filmed sexual violence “where choking slapping and spitting have become normalised. Noeline Blackwell of Dublin Rape Crisis stated that they are now seeing more extreme levels of violence. The average age to access porn is 11 years. One site alone Pornhub had 33 Billion hits in 2018. Minister Flanagan praised the work of Ruhama which has been a powerful voice for 30 years supporting women in prostitution.

I would encourage all clubs to plan events and increase your activity on social media during the 16 days of Activism and for Orange the World 25th. November 2020. (Continued......)

What an honour to be President of this amazing organisation.

it is our vision and mission that lies at the heart of who we are. What excites me is the idea that this is even a possibility and that we can work with others with the same intent to make it happen.

My theme is ‘We Stand Up for Women’ My hope is that this can be a platform for us to clearly articulate the difference that we make to the lives of women and girls.

Isobel Smith
SIGBI President 2019-2020

Soroptimist Federation Project 2019 / 20 is

The project target is to raise £105,000 over 3 years to:

  • Educate and train 45 girls per year, providing them with education and vocational training, including basic and advanced tailoring skills and a silver jewellery training workshop that can lead to gainful employment and enable them to return to society.
  • Create a sustainable 30-bed facility which will act as a safe and secure halfway house, a home during transition and a stepping-stone for these girls. (more...)

SIGBI Benevolent Fund:


To receive help from the Benevolent Fund, an applicant must have been a member of a Soroptimist Club for at least 3 consecutive years.  Assistance is given in the form of grants, either as a one-off payment for a specific need, or as a regular quarterly grant to supplement the beneficiary’s income. The fund does not make loans.

To apply

Application Forms for financial assistance from the Benevolent Fund may be obtained from your Regional Representative, Clare Comerford ( or from the Benevolent Fund Secretary ( All information is treated in absolute confidence.  The only person with whom the applicant will discuss her circumstances is her Regional Representative, who will help her complete the form and ensure that the reasons for the application is made clear.  The form is then sent to the Secretary of the Benevolent Fund.


Catherine Giblin

Catherine Giblin
National President

Soroptimist North South Conference 2020, Blackhall Place, Dublin.

As part of Soroptimist Centennial Celebrations, we are planning to plant a tree in Glencree on 21st September 2020.

President Elect Mary Kerr in Glencree, where she, together with Mary Courtney, made arrangements.

Proud Feminist: An Interview with Darina Dolan >>

SI Athlone members
Athlone Soroptimists with Senator Gabrielle McFadden on a visit to Dail Eireann.


NWCI welcomed the International Women’s Day ratification of the Istanbul Convention, after a long campaign by women’s groups and organisations including Soroptimists working to end violence against women. 

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI >>

Sharon Fisher
SI President 2020-2021

"The value of any social movement is having everyone moving in the same direction toward common goals. We can be the messenger that brings the complex global issues facing women and girls into focus and aligns them with the programme work of Soroptimist International (SI)." (more...)

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