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Soroptimists International, including members from Kirkintilloch and across East Dunbartonshire, celebrated at the Scottish Parliament last month as they commemorated their centenary year. Sponsored by local MSP Rona Mackay, Soroptimists International showcased some of the ongoing programme work by clubs right across Scotland, linked to the UNs Sustainable Development Goals.

Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement working together to transform the lives of women and girls with nearly 80,000 Members in 124 countries. The organisation, with members across the region, aims to empower young women and girls across Scotland, driving forward local projects to gender equality. The packed reception, one of the first held in the Scottish Parliament since lockdown, improved the visibility of the organisation and linked MSPs to their local soroptimist groups. Commenting, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden Ms Mackay said: “I was delighted to welcome Soroptimists International to our national Parliament, celebrating all the fantastic work they achieve across my constituency and throughout Scotland. “I’m really grateful to all delegates who attended to showcase and speak about their work. This year’s global theme was Violence Against Women and Girls and some crucial work being done by the women was highlighted at the event. “It’s incredibly important that as we progress through COVID-19, voices from our community are heard. It’s organisations like Soroptimists International that make a huge difference and they, rightly, deserved to be recognised in the Scottish Parliament.

Melanie Brickley, Past Region President of Soroptimist International of Kirkintilloch & District:

“We were honoured to have a reception granted at Holyrood in December to celebrate the Centenary of Soroptimist International, sponsored by Rona Mackay MSP. Over 48 years, Soroptimist International of Kirkintilloch & District has worked in the community wherever support is required to improve the lives of women and girls. "Our "Service Organisation" bases its action on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, including the 16 days in November when we highlight opposition to Violence against Women.

“The interest we have had from our MSP Rona Mackay has been excellent, her office is accessible and her staff helpful, she takes personal interest in our projects. It seems to our members that the Government in Scotland is "close by" and responds readily to requests for help and advice.

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