Soroptimist International

Soroptimist International ( SI ) is an international service club for women in positions of responsibility in professional life.


The name Soroptimist is derived from the Latin sorores optimae ( " the best Sisters" ) and is understood by the members as the standards to their own behavior in life and profession and as fellow human beings obligation. In this sense, the first club of Soroptimist International 1921 in Oakland, California (USA) was founded. It does not support political parties or religions, but supports local, national and international level for active participation in decision -making at all levels of society.

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

  • Economic and Social Council ( ECOSOC)
  • International Labour Organization ( ILO)
  • Environment Programme (UNEP )
  • Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR)
  • World Children's Fund ( UNICEF)
  • Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO )
  • World Health Organization ( WHO)

The European Federation of Soroptimist International ( SI / E) is represented as an NGO in Euro Europe in Strasbourg.


Soroptimist International is represented in 117 countries with 81,000 members in approximately 3,100 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 comprises about 1,260 clubs and 32,000 members in 58 countries.

Soroptimist International Germany currently consists of 204 clubs with over 6,200 members in eight districts. The office is located in Hannover. The President of Soroptimist International of Germany is for the term 2013-2015 Magdalena Erkens of SI Club Passau. The first German Club was founded in 1930 in Berlin.


Since 2008, Soroptimist International Germany gives every two years, the Soroptimist International Germany award, which is endowed with 20,000 euros. Winners are:

  • 2008 Christiane Nüsslein -Volhard
  • 2010 Dagmar Schipanski
  • 2012 Jutta Allmendinger