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CSW63

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

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.

I would like to thank clubs that invited me to attend their Christmas lunches. I attended the SI Mullingar Christmas Lunch on 6th December and enjoyed hearing about their projects and meeting members. I attended SI Cork Christmas Lunch on the 8th December. Many thanks to President Tess and members for your warm welcome and again I was delighted to hear about your programme action work and projects you are involved in.

2020 got off to a lovely start when I attended the SI Wexford Nollaig Na mBan Lunch on the 5th January. Thank you to President Eadaoin and members for an enjoyable afternoon celebrating this traditional Irish celebration whilst raising much needed local charity funds.

The Girls Public Speaking competition has gotten off to a great start. I attended the SI Dublin heat on 6th December chaired by President Louise. 3 Regional Finals were hosted on the 25th January and all went very well. I attended the Regional Final in Drogheda. Thank you to SI Drogheda President Siobhan and members who hosted the Regional Final at St Peter’s Parish Hall in Drogheda on the 25th January. The standard was very high at both competitions and I look forward to attending the Final in Dungarvan on 21st March.

My deepest sympathies to President Tess and members of SI Cork on the sad passing of Muriel Bowers previous National President and SIGBI Federation President. May she rest in peace.

Catherine Giblin National President Soroptimist International ROI






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
EMPOWERING GIRLS IN NEPAL

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...)

Press Release October 2018
 Soroptimist International Republic Of Ireland to Host
Soroptimist International Convention in Dublin, July 2023

Soroptimist Republic Ireland are delighted to announce that they are the successful bidders to host the 2023 Soroptimist International Convention which will take place in July 2023 in Dublin. The Dublin Convention Centre was agreed by the board of Soroptimist International as the host venue, which will attract two to three thousand Soroptimists and their guests from all over the world. With this convention only being held every four years, needless to say the competition in the bidding process was very high. Fáilte Ireland supported the Soroptimist bid which included letters of endorsement from their CEO and the Lord Mayor of Dublin.  (more...)
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Catherine Giblin

Catherine Giblin
National President


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 Logo

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...)

UN Women

Link to CSW59 Link to CSW59


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