Standing up for gender equality in South East Asia and the Pacific
With a laser-sharp focus on issues affecting women and girls, Soroptimist International South East Asia Pacific (SISEAP) is one of the strongest women’s organisations in the region.
Women’s rights are human rights, and we are committed to tackling gender discrimination in all that we do.
Soroptimists concentrate their efforts on issues of current global significance. Importantly, our members work within their own communities to identify local needs and opportunities. We follow the formula “think globally, act locally”.
Consider issues such as domestic violence and other gender-based violence, girls’ access to education, the lack of women in leadership and the gender pay gap, as well as women’s health issues and reproductive rights. These are just some of the topics that highlight gender inequality around the world and therefore drive Soroptimist projects and advocacy campaigns at a local level.
We currently operate in 13 countries across the South East Asia and Pacific region, standing up for women and girls, striving to make a positive difference in their lives. These countries are Australia, Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Thailand.
Our Vision is that women and girls will achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide.
Our Mission is for Soroptimists to transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities.
We are guided by our Values: Human rights for all, Global peace and international goodwill, Advancing women’s potential, Integrity and democratic decision making and Volunteering, diversity and friendship.
As a women’s service organisation with special status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, Soroptimist International South East Asia Pacific (SISEAP) will have policies which reflect the acceptance of human rights for all, gender equality and the need for sustainable use of natural resources.
SISEAP honours the rights and respects the cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples.
SISEAP respects and values the diversity of all members and their equality and contributions to its structure and purposes.
All SISEAP employees and volunteers shall have a safe environment to work and to express their points of view. Employees shall have remuneration, leave and working conditions and arrangements consistent with Australian law and awards.
SISEAP will endeavour to obtain energy, materials or items from sustainable sources. It will seek to ensure that any merchants can guarantee, or have sought to discover, that modern slavery is not involved in their supply chains.
SISEAP will encourage its members and their national associations to do the same.
Soroptimists’ mission is to work together to build a diverse and inclusive global community to transform the lives and status of women and girls, striving to put those principles into practice through advocacy and programme initiatives. Soroptimists are of diverse gender, culture and perspectives who work together to achieve our mission.
Every Soroptimist in our clubs is valued. They are free to be who they are, their voices are heard and as a result our voice is strengthened within the global community.
The Soroptimist name explained
We know our name is a little unusual and can seem hard to pronounce, but once you understand the significance, it all makes perfect sense.
The name Soroptimist comes from two Latin words –soror meaning sister, and optima meaning best. When you put the two together, it’s interpreted as ‘best for women’.
Since the first club started over 100 years ago, Soroptimists have been blazing the way for women’s empowerment, striving to achieve the best for our sisters over the world.
Our emblem is also a compelling reminder of our promise to advance gender equality and eliminate gender bias. The female figure in the centre represents the spirit of womanhood. The oak leaves and acorns (on right), epitomise strength, growth, progress and achievement, while the laurel (on left) is the emblem of victory, typifying friendship and success. Our emblem has been used for many decades, and despite its age, still captures the character of our organisation.