What does it mean to be "empowered"?




Women are economically empowered when they have control over their own finances and well-being, and when they have a voice in the financial decisions to shape their lives and the lives of their families. When women and girls are empowered, they have a sense of autonomy, self-confidence, and the power to control their private and public lives. We focus on access to education because we believe it’s the most effective way toward empowerment.

When women learn

families live healthier.

Source: Population Reference Bureau

When girls go to school

they are more likely to get paying jobs and their financial contributions to their families—and their nations—increase.

Source: Population Reference Bureau

When girls have educated moms

they are more likely to be enrolled in school and to reach higher levels of education.

Source: Population Reference Bureau

When women are educated

their countries are more likely to have greater economic growth.

Source: World Bank



A Global Effort

Even though we’re over 100 years old, we don’t work in a vacuum. We join many of the biggest foundations such as the Clinton Global Initiative and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in putting the empowerment of women and girls front and center. Our goals also are aligned with the United Nation’s agenda for women’s equality. Central to this agenda are the Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1981), the Beijing Platform for Action (1995), and the Sustainable Development Goals (2016).

On January 1, 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at a historic UN Summit—officially came into force.



The Sustainable Development Goals Our Programs Support

Of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal’s 17 goals and 169 targets, the Soroptimist Dream Programs directly support five goals and 12 targets:

  • End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  • Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  • Reduce inequality within and among countries.
  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  • Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Read more about how our Dream Programs directly support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn about the importance of education in achieving economic empowerment in our research paper, Education and Economic Empowerment: The Future for Women and Girls.

Unlock the potential of women and girls

People like YOU are helping women and girls around the world achieve their goals. Donate now and help them live their dreams.

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