Malaysia has become the first Asian country to host the Soroptimist International (SI) Convention, which took place last weekend (July 19-21) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
The convention was a gathering of members from SI, headquartered in Cambridge, UK, whose work centres on transforming the lives of women and girls through a global volunteer movement.
There are over 80,000 club members and more than 3,000 clubs in the SI network today. The SI Region of Malaysia (SIROM) has 15 clubs and a highly regarded committee of chairpersons.
The 21st SI Convention adopted the theme â€“ Soroptimist Enable A Sustainable World: Global Connections, Empowered Women â€“ and drew an attendance of over 1,500 participants, with 70 per cent from overseas.
Sessions discussed the status of women and girls around the world, showcased and celebrated SI efforts in each federation, and provided a platform for women to embrace, create and prosper together with fresh ideas.
The event was supported by the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), and MyCEB CEO Zulkefli Haji Sharif said in a statement that the SI Convention was expected to contribute RM18.3 million (US$4.4 million) in economic impact and generate some RM9 million from visitor expenditure to the country.
Beyond the financial benefits, the hosting of the convention demonstrated and profiled Malaysia as a nation that values empowering women and girls, and promotes gender equality as it moves towards developed status.