Celebrate UN Day October 24 by Lifting Up Women and Girls
On October 24, the world will celebrate United Nations Day. It commemorates the day that the UN was formed to join countries around a common cause of peace, prosperity, and positive change—similar to Soroptimist’s founding mission. For over a century, we’ve worked to improve the lives of women and girls like Raquel, who told us her story of how Dream It, Be It inspired her...
“From the moment you are born a poor, black, and female child, there are obstacles,” writes Raquel. Growing up in a shelter in São Vicente, Brazil, everywhere Raquel looked, she saw many setbacks and few opportunities for a girl like her.
Girls like Raquel are at high risk of being left behind. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that up to 32% of Brazilian girls drop out of secondary school due to abusive situations or needing to support their families.
But Raquel refused to give up hope. She realized her “biggest challenges were psychological—being mentally strong enough to follow my life plans.”
“I always knew that I could do well… I just needed a push to believe in myself.”
Happily, Raquel got that push. Thanks to the generosity and kind support of Soroptimists, Raquel was able to attend a Dream It, Be It project where she gained clarity on her career goals and the confidence to pursue them. It was a turning point for Raquel.
“I learned to express my vision,” Raquel says. “In difficult times, I can remember those plans and continue on the same path, focused.”
Today, Raquel is finishing a degree in human resources. She will be the first person in her family to graduate college, which makes her enormously proud.
As a Soroptimist, hearing stories like Raquel’s should make you proud, too. It is testimony to the transformative power of our work, and the promise of a brighter future for women and girls that you can help create!
Although it’s important to celebrate Raquel and all the women and girls we’ve helped, we cannot forget about the millions of others left behind.
Despite efforts to improve the status of women and girls, they are still chronically disadvantaged in many areas of their lives. In every country, women and girls continue to face gender inequality, discrimination, violence, violation of their human rights, and lack of empowerment.
Girls are dropping out of school at devastating rates compared to their male peers. Women are paid a fraction of what they deserve and are pressured out of the workforce by family demands. They are underrepresented in governments, institutions, and high-earning industries. Violence still affects one in three women.
As Soroptimists, you and I know that a different future is possible. We’ve stood united behind that vision for a century, and we’ll do so for another 100 years.
In 2015, the UN put forth a new agenda called the Sustainable Development Goals. It is a blueprint to achieving an even better, more sustainable future for all.
Soroptimists today are elevating the UN’s aims (as we have since the 1950’s) by advancing progress on a number of these Sustainable Development Goals through our global Dream Programs, including:
- Goal 1. End Poverty
- Goal 4. Quality Education
- Goal 5. Gender Equality
- Goal 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Goal 10. Reduce Inequality
Whether it’s helping women increase their standard of living by obtaining education and better paying jobs, or providing career guidance to vulnerable teen girls, we’re supporting these women and girls on the path to lifelong empowerment. And when women and girls are able to participate in society to the fullest, that leads to better outcomes across every single UN Sustainable Development Goal.
As Soroptimists, we know the power of dreams. We’ve seen what can happen when you invest in a woman’s education so she can lift her family out of poverty. We’ve seen how a gift of encouragement can ignite success from the spark of a young girl’s dream.
Through our charitable gifts and tireless volunteer service, we’ve helped build a world where women and girls can enjoy more equality and access to better life outcomes than ever before.
And we can do more! Because Soroptimists are problem-solvers and change-makers.
So this UN Day 2021, bring all your strengths and passions to bear on the issues of our time. Through our combined efforts, we can reach our goals!
With our hearts and minds fixed on our common purpose, there is nothing we cannot do. No dream is too big for Soroptimists!