Soroptimist International

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Soroptimist International ( SI ) is an international service club for women in responsible positions in professional life. The member women call each other a soroptimist, SI sister or sorores .


The name Soroptimist is derived from the Latin sorores optimae ("the best sisters") and is understood by the members as a requirement for their own behavior in life and at work and as a human obligation. With this in mind, Soroptimist International's first club was founded in Oakland , California ( USA ) in 1921 . It does not support political parties or religions , but is committed to human rights and gender equality in local, national and international areas through active participation in decision-making processes at all levels of society.

As a non-governmental organization (NGO), Soroptimist International has general consultative status with ECOSOC , the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations , and is represented by representatives at the following UN sub-organizations in New York , Geneva , Vienna and Paris :

The European Federation of Soroptimist International (SI / E) is represented as an NGO in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg with advisory status.

The members work on grassroots projects that help women and girls to develop their individual and collective potential, to achieve goals and to have an equal voice in communities worldwide.


Soroptimist International is represented in 132 countries with around 80,000 members in over 3,000 clubs. There are four federations: Soroptimist International of the Americas, Soroptimist International of Europe, Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland, Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific. Soroptimist International of Europe consists of around 1,300 clubs and 35,000 members in 58 countries.

In the German-speaking area there are national organizations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Soroptimist International Germany currently consists of 218 clubs with over 6,600 members in eight districts. The office is in Hanover. The President of Soroptimist International Germany for the 2019 to 2021 term is Renate Tewaag from SI-Club Haan.

The members include a. the former Baden-Wuerttemberg Minister of Social Affairs Barbara Schäfer-Wiegand from the SI-Club Karlsruhe, winner of the large Staufer Medal in Gold from the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg .

The first German club was founded in Berlin in 1930. Its members included u. a. Erna Scheffler , the first federal constitutional judge, the federal prosecutor Anne-Marie Hofmann and the journalist and writer Gabriele Tergit .

Sponsorship award

Since 2008, Soroptimist International Germany has been awarding the Soroptimist International Germany Sponsorship Prize, endowed with 20,000 euros, every two years. The previous winners are:

Erna Scheffler Prize

Since 1996, the Soroptimist International Club Karlsruhe has awarded the Erna Scheffler Prize to young female scientists from Karlsruhe every two years. The previous winners are:

  • 1996: Uta Becker
  • 1998: Gerda Fischer
  • 2000: Jutta Altenbach-Rehm
  • 2002: Kathrin Paschen
  • 2005: Gisela Lanza and Franziska Zacharias
  • 2007: Christiane Barz, Julia Bohnert and Katrin Schulz
  • 2009: Nicole Kikillus and Jennifer Girrbach
  • 2011: Jennifer Girrbach and Christina Gottselig
  • 2013: Anna Osberghaus and Susanne Mertens
  • 2015: Petra Thoma and Ines Reinartz
  • 2017: Nicole Stricker and Bettina Fleck


Technical articles

Web links

Commons : Soroptimist International  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. List of nongovernmental Organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council . In: . September 1, 2014. Archived from the original on July 2, 2015. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved December 20, 2015. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ILO Special List of NGOs . In: . Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  3. Heidi Ossenberg: SOROPTIMISTS . In: . March 14, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  4. FAQs: Frequently asked questions about SI . In: . Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Soroptimist International> About Us / a Global Voluteer Movement . In: . Retrieved May 24, 2019.