Women's Economic Empowerment

Photo competition 2014 SIE Author : Marianne MUKANKAKA, SI Gisenyi (Rwanda)
Topic   : "Rational use of available space for meals with vegetables”
Description:The lady in the photo is the owner of a plot of 50 m² where she lives with a small flower garden. She would like to have vegetables without having to go to the market throughout the year. She has created space all around her garden to plant vegetables and she maintains everything very carefully. She was pruning her tomato plants when I took the photo.


Soroptimists are engaged in the creation, development and financing of projects that enable women and girls to gain economic autonomy. Soroptimists teach them by theory and especially by practice how to develop their talents so that they can manage economically.

THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS : to give these women stable livelihoods and thus better living conditions.

Effective cooperation for independent living.

Soroptimists work with other local SI clubs abroad or with the local population. Partnerships with associations that share the same values ​​as Soroptimist International have the following advantages:

  • Collaboration is not limited, it is open to all.
  • A large creative space allows quick solutions.
  • Value added benefits everyone.

"Sorores Optimum": We want to achieve the best results for all!

26 women from Rususa in Rwanda decided  to keep and breed pigs with the help and under the guidance of Frieda Onraedt,member of Zottegem Zuid-Oost-Vlaanderen.

Need for economic autonomy.

  • Because we want to help women who are willing to take responsibility for themselves or to self-manage their lives.
  • Because women have the right to speak out for the choice of projects to be carried out.
  • Because their projects are supported, encouraged and subject to regular monitoring.

Favorable influences of this line of conduct.

  • Women are respected by the local population.
  • They influence the economic development of their region.
  • Their families have higher incomes.

Finances and continuity = Final Objective.

Soroptimists regularly visit ongoing projects so as to keep them on track, if necessary. As a result of this approach, the projects remain financially healthy, the income is renewed thanks to the knowledge acquired by the women of the local population who are members of the management committee. Through their skills, these women participate in the sustainable economic development of their region and are able to influence decisions made by local management, since they are part of it.

Soroptimists support projects that are mainly located in rural areas where women are mostly victims of precariousness and face the problems of "survival". Assistance to the victims of wars and natural disasters is one of the main, if not the main objective of our association in cooperation with other international networks.

Les Deux Sources Gembloux-Éghezée  in Bolivia

The children are the protagonists of their own development and are trained with the good practice. The parents and especially mothers are fully involved in the approach of this project. It is the children who transfer their knowledge on the parents, which is a guarantee for the continuity. It is an educational project that is not expensive and is based on the transfer of knowledge. The school together with the mothers contribute for the development of their village, they are the engine of the project.



In our own country, we offer support to women and their children who are victims of violence or any form of discrimination, who are forced into economic dependence on account of their situation


SI Veurne-Westhoek - meeting point/talk corner


In our own region  investing in the integration of the refugees is important.  Guide women and children  in the knowledge of our culture, language and the practical arrangements of everyday life. This population group deserves our commitment and engagement. It is in our interest that they, too, be self-reliant. Collaborate with local projects where there is a need for volunteers can help.

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