Background

Every year the UN’s Committee on the Status of Women meets – delegations from all over the world – to negotiate international agreements on moving forward women’s rights. The delegations NEED input from the local level, from activists and groups who are doing the real work and seeing the real needs. Based on their information, priorities are set, agreements are made. But they don’t have any impact until individual countries sign on to them – and pass legislation or make changes supporting them. Those changes lead to the real advances in individual lives in employment, safety, education.

What is needed is a united voice in each country, made up of many groups and individuals, to give support to a government for following through, advocating for changes, and reporting to the Committee on the Status of Women on what has or has not been done.

THERE IS NO GROUP IN NORTH AMERICA SPEAKING IN ONE STRONG VOICE TO THE CSW OR NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS ABOUT THE UN GOALS.

This Symposium for Action is not just to discuss gender equality. It is to bring together the groups who care about gender equality to forge an alliance to move the agenda forward in this country, on this continent.

Along the way we will network, learn, discuss, be inspired. Our keynote speakers have been instrumental in gender equality on the global stage – and know very well how the global and local theatres need each other. Our panelists have championed gender equality and made real changes in the day to day lives of women in business and on the street.

Soroptimist International is a global organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. The name means “Best For Women.” www.soroptimistinternational.org