What Is A Sorority?


What Is A Sorority

What is the purpose of the sorority?

1. You’ll join a community of like-minded women. – Sorority membership provides a community of women who share similar values, goals and aspirations. These women will support you as you navigate your collegiate experience.

What does it mean to be a member of a sorority?

A fraternity or sorority is a brotherhood or sisterhood formed around common goals and aspirations. These men and women make a commitment to each other for life. The members that form a fraternity or sorority share their efforts, friendship, and knowledge.

What does sorority girls mean?

1. a group of women or girls joined together by common interests, for fellowship, etc.2. US. a Greek-letter college organization for women.

Why do I join a sorority?

Heading off to college is one of the biggest events in your adult life. You’ll be away from home in a brand-new place without knowing a lot of (or any) people. If you’re looking for a way to make instant friends, network with girls with shared interests and get the most out of your college experience, you might consider joining a sorority.

  • If you find yourself asking,”What is a sorority and why do I want to join a sorority?”, consider this answer: joining a sorority is a way to enhance your college experience and make your college life a lot more fun and fulfilling, even as a freshman.
  • But we know what you’re thinking: what are the reasons to join a sorority if it’s all about partying and wearing matching outfits? The stereotypes of sororities have some truth behind them because there are enjoyable parties and matching outfits (which are fun).

But there’s so much more to joining a top sorority, like making lifelong friends, participating in charity events and making your community a better place. If you’re on the fence about Greek life, check out these 13 reasons why you should join a sorority when you go to college.

Long-Lasting Friendships

One of the first reasons to join a sorority is that you’ll gain hundreds of sisters within your campus’ chapter, other schools’ chapters and alumni around the world. You instantly create a huge family on-campus and across the globe that you can rely on for networking, academic support and friendship.

  • Talk about never being lonely again! Going to college without a good support system or a group of friends is hard to deal with emotionally.
  • While you will make friends in other ways, joining a sorority will connect you with a large group of girls that share common interests and values.
  • When wondering why to join a sorority, becoming part of the sisterhood makes it easy to make friends and have support, even as a new kid on campus.

Most friendships you make in Greek life will last a lifetime. It’s not uncommon to see people have a sister or even their Big as their maid of honor at their wedding. Joining a sorority is a unique experience, and participating in Greek life is a great way to create lifelong bonds with women who have interests and even academic pursuits that are similar to yours.

Connections on Campus

Not only will you make friends when you join a sorority, you’ll also make connections. Sororities can have hundreds of girls in them – even in just one campus’ chapter – so there’s no way you’re going to be best friends with everyone. If you’re asking yourself,”So why should I join a sorority?”, one good reason is to build connections on campus.

  1. Whether you join a huge sorority, or a small, intimate chapter, all of those girls in the group are going to be involved in different things and organizations at your school, which will give you excellent connections to whatever you want to pursue.
  2. Thinking about working in a research lab? Chances are one of your sisters works in one or knows someone who does.

Need a campus job? Ask your sisters where they work and if they can put in a good word for you. Want to join a certain club? There’s a good chance one of your sisters is in it, or at least knows someone who is. These connections may be just what you need to get a step ahead in your college career, which could also benefit the rest of your life.

Meet New and Diverse People

With so many girls in a sorority, you’re bound to meet diverse people from a variety of different backgrounds that you might not meet otherwise. You’ll meet people from different states and even different countries just by joining a sorority. Moving from your hometown to a larger, and much different, college environment will throw you together with all sorts of people you probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.


We’ve talked a lot about connections and meeting new people, and that doesn’t stop after you leave campus. Sorority alumnae are great connections when you’re looking for jobs, summer internships or opportunities after you graduate. While the connection might not secure the job entirely, you’ll already have common ground and similar values from being in the same fraternities and sororities, which potentially gives you something the other job candidates don’t have.

Academic Help

A lot of people think that sorority girls have bad grades from all the partying and having fun. But that’s just not true. On average, people in Greek life maintain a higher GPA than the general undergraduate population. Not only do most chapters have a minimum GPA that you must maintain in order to be a part of the organization, but the sorority itself is also a great academic resource.


Each sorority dedicates themselves to multiple philanthropic and service projects in order to give back to the community and the world. This involves volunteering, organizing fundraising events, hosting service days and more. If philanthropic work is part of who you are, joining a sorority will let you give back to both your campus community and the larger community around you.

Leadership Opportunities

Many employers are looking for people who have leadership qualities, but many applicants are lacking this skill. You have the ability to develop them while also having fun by joining a sorority. Within your sorority, there are leadership roles that can give you excellent experience that you can take with you into your professional life after graduation.

  • Who knows? You could be a sorority president or treasurer one day, and you can then take that experience with you into the future.
  • Sorority leadership roles give you experience in a leadership position and teach you about responsibility, communication, organization and more.
  • There are also roles for all types of leaders.

If you like organizing, perhaps an event planning role would be best for you. If you’re a good speaker and like socializing, perhaps you could help plan and run the recruitment process.

Socials and Events

Let’s not pretend that sororities don’t provide access to fun social events, parties and opportunities to dress up. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to socialize in college: that’s one of the best parts! Greek life organizations often have mixers with each other, which gives you a great opportunity to meet other people.

Support and Mentorship

When you join top sororities, you’ll instantly get a large support system. Going to college can be overwhelming and filled with strangers. A sorority will narrow down your social circle and give you close, intimate support. This can make the adjustment to college life less harrowing and stressful.

Worldwide Connections

People in your chapter are going to be from all over the world. Different states, countries and even continents will be represented within your sorority. This will help you travel and experience brand new places. You’ll almost always have a sister in a place you’ve been wanting to visit, which can give you a place to stay and/or a friendly face in a strange environment! It’s also a great excuse to take a summer road (or plane or train!) trip: visit all your sisters while seeing and experiencing new places all over the world! In a global economy, having connections throughout the world can only be beneficial.

Better Housing Options

Why join a sorority? Well, many sororities have designated housing just for that chapter. Not only will you get to live with all of your closest friends and sisters, you’ll also get some of the best housing available on campus. Some sororities get huge houses that are essentially mansions.

The Clothes

You’ve definitely seen T-shirts and hats with Greek letters proudly embroidered or stamped on them like a badge of honor. Joining a sorority will get you access to all these cool clothes so that you can proudly represent your sisterhood. There’s also the fact that you’ll suddenly have hundreds of girls to share and trade clothes with.

A Home Away from Home

If none of these things have convinced you to join a sorority, consider this: you’re going to be leaving home to be on your own for probably the first time in your life. You won’t have your friends or family with you, and everything is going to seem new and probably overwhelming.

  1. So why do people join sororities? Besides everything we mentioned, it gives you a new place to call home.
  2. You’ll literally gain family members (sisters and Greek brothers) who turn into an instant support system.
  3. In many cases, you’ll also get a new home in the form of sorority housing.
  4. Sorority members are called sisters, and that’s more than just a title.
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Sorority sisters are like real family, supporting and encouraging one another during college and beyond. When you’re not at home, you’ll have a new place and new people to call family. When thinking about why I want to join a sorority, this reason can’t be beat.

  • Need Reasons to Join a Sorority? Those Were 13 Great Ones The unfortunate stereotypes of Greek life that have been perpetuated in movies and TV shows don’t do justice to the awesomeness that is joining a sorority.
  • So, why do you want to join a sorority? You might have your own ideas too, but as we’ve discussed, some of the best reasons of why join a sorority are friends, family, academics, service and more.

Looking for more information on Greek life? Check out our blog !

Do I have to party if I’m in a sorority?

The Expectation to Drink – Partying can seem like the top priority of Greek organizations at times, but getting drunk isn’t a requirement for membership. Fraternities and sororities won’t kick members out for turning down a shot or missing a party. Learning to consume alcohol responsibly and knowing when to say no is a part of most people’s college experience.

  1. College in general poses a variety of situations where students have to make choices about what behaviors they’re going to engage in and who they’re going to associate with,” Wiley said.
  2. But fraternity and sorority members likely have to choose between drinking and staying sober more often than other college students.

Members also have to balance busy schedules. Prioritizing responsibilities is a challenge for all college students, and fraternity or sorority members who try to attend every party can quickly fall behind academically. “If a student has a problem self-monitoring and managing their time, I would say they need to think long and hard about making any major commitment, including joining a fraternity or sorority,” Wiley said.

Who is allowed to be in a sorority?

What Qualifications Are Needed to Be in a Sorority in College? Women in college sororities share common interests, goals or traits. New sorority members are usually invited to join after attending a series of recruitment events traditionally called “rush.” Although you may be invited to join the sorority you’ve applied to, you must meet certain qualifications in order to join and remain a member.

  1. You usually need to be a full-time student at a four-year college in order to join a sorority.
  2. Some colleges don’t allow freshmen to join sororities or limit their involvement in them.
  3. Sororities emphasize academics, and most have a grade point average requirement between 2.5 and 3.0.
  4. Some follow the academic guidelines set by their national or international organizations.

Many activities take place within a sorority, so you must be able to manage your time in order to maintain your GPA. In order to join a sorority, you’re usually required to attend rush events. Rush allows the sorority to get to know you and decide if they want you to join – and it’s the only way you can meet them to decide if you’ll fit.

  1. Rush is often an open house held by each sorority, but it’s sometimes a series of events.
  2. Your required application and paperwork are usually due at rush.
  3. Most sororities require dues from members.
  4. There’s usually a base fee paid when joining and additional monthly or annual fees.
  5. The dues support the chapter and national or international organization.

Dues are typically around $500 per semester. Since sorority membership is for life, dues are also required of alumnae, though the amount is much less. Sororities often have a sorority house where many if not all members reside. Some sororities may require members to reside in the house or at least on campus.

The house sometimes has a chef who prepares all meals. Room and board expenses vary with each sorority, but the expense is usually comparable to a college dorm. However, off-house members may have to pay parlor fees for using the house during meetings and activities. Although they have much in common, each sorority has its own mission, history, culture, values and creed.

Much of this information can be found on a sorority’s website. Most sororities focus on community service or charity work. Local chapters may have slight differences you could research by asking for on-campus information. : What Qualifications Are Needed to Be in a Sorority in College?

Why are sororities Greek?

Why do Sororities and Fraternities use Greek Letters? – Fraternities and sororities have used Greek letters since the founding of the first academic fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1776. At the time, studying ancient Greek was popular in higher education.

Can you date a sorority girl?

Can a non-frat guy date a sorority girl? – Quora. Yes, it is still legal to date any one above a certain of age and the same species, so Greek and Independents are a GO!. There are truly great men in fraternities and many stellar guys who aren’t members.

Is a sorority a female frat?

Active A member who has been initiated into lifelong fraternity or sorority membership and participates in chapter activities at the collegiate level. Alumni/Alumnae Initiated fraternity or sorority members who have graduated from college. Badge The pin of an initiated member.

Bid A formal invitation to membership in a particular fraternity or sorority. Big Brother or Sister An active member of a fraternity or sorority who serves as a mentor to a new member, guiding him or her through the new member program and initiation. Brother A term used by fraternity members to refer to one another.

Call/Chant Audible sounds used by members to acknowledge or gain the attention of other members. Calls may vary regionally within organizations, and some organizations may use more than one call. Chapter A local group of the larger (inter)national organization, designated by a special Greek name.

  • Crossed The same as being initiated.
  • The term means different things to different groups, but generally means crossing over from being a pledge to being a full member.
  • Most groups record this time to the second.
  • Term also refers to “Crossing the Burning Sands.” DOP/DP The membership educator, short for Dean Of Pledges, is an old term that the groups still use.

ADOP/ADP would be the assistant dean. Financial Term used to refer to an active member (ie. someone paying dues). Executive Office The central organization of a particular fraternity or sorority. Often referred to as National Headquarters, International Headquarters, or just Nationals.

  1. Frater A term used to refer to another member of their fraternity.
  2. Sometimes they will refer to someone as simply Frat.
  3. Fraternity The name that applies to all Greek organizations characterized by a ritual, badge and strong ties to friendship and moral principles.
  4. Informally, women’s fraternities are called sororities.

Grad/Alumni Chapter The graduate chapter of NPHC or Multicultural organization. Usually the local grad chapter oversees the operations of the undergraduate chapter. Greek Any member of a Greek-letter organization. Hand sign Used to identify members of the same organization.

Most have a deep meaning to that organization or ritualistic symbol. Informational Recruitment event for culturally based groups. Initiated Member Any member who has completed the new member process and has gone through the initiation ceremony. Initiation The formal ceremony that marks the beginning of active membership.

Each chapter has a different set of requirements in order to be initiated. Intake The process chapters conduct to recruit, interview, choose, and educate new members. Interest Title of a potential new member who the group knows is interested. Sometimes these students will band together and form an interest group.

Lavaliere A pendant with a fraternity or sorority’s Greek letters on it. Legacy The brother or sister, son or daughter, or grandson or granddaughter of a fraternity or sorority member. Each (inter)national organization has its own policy regarding legacies. Line Name The name given to a pledge class. Some groups number their lines by Greek Letters (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc.) but may have a descriptive name as well that is specific to characteristics of the group.

Line The members of a cultural Greek organization new member class. Membership Recruitment The mutual selection process that prospective members and chapter members go through during the recruitment period to get to know one another. National Association of Latin Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) The representative body governing historically Latino/Latina Greek Letter organizations.

Neophyte (aka “Neo”) A new member of a cultural Greek organization. New Member Presentation (aka Rollout, Probate) A formal presentation of a new line to campus. Usually done in a public forum after members have been initiated. New Member Program A period of learning about fraternity and sorority life prior to initiation.

This period varies for all groups. New Member Release To end one’s fraternity or sorority membership before initiation. New Member A member of a fraternity or sorority who has not been initiated. NPC (National Panhellenic Conference) The umbrella organization for 26 women’s fraternities.

  • NPC supports its chapters by promoting values, education, leadership, friendship, cooperation, and citizenship.
  • NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council) A national organization composed of four sororities and five fraternities whose membership is historically African-American.
  • Number The number you are assigned based on the chronological order you are in on your initiation line (often members of other culturally based organizations identify or relate to one another by distinguishing that they are the “same” number).

Para (aka “Nalia”) Short for paraphernalia. The different items of Greek clothing or items someone is wearing. Philanthropy A charitable fundraiser or service project sponsored by a fraternity or sorority. Pinning A ritual ceremony that designates the start of a new member process.

  • Potential New Member (PNM) A college student who is interested in joining a Greek Organization and is taking part in the recruitment process.
  • Preferencing During the last part of Panhellenic sorority recruitment, a potential new member determines which particular sorority she is willing to join.
  • The potential new member lists two sororities in her order of preference.
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Prophyte Term used to refer to an older brother/sister from your chapter. Quota The specified number of potential new members to which each sorority may extend a bid. Recruitment Specialist A Panhellenic sorority member who assists and supports potential new members during the recruitment process.

Recruitment Specialist are trained to help potential new members and answer any questions they may have about sorority membership. Sands (aka Parallel) A member of your organization or another culturally based organization that was initiated at the same time you were. Sister A term used by sorority members to refer to one another.

Social A get-together event with another Greek organization. Soror Term used to refer to a sister in a NPHC or Multicultural organization. Stepping A historically black tradition characterized by synchronized hand foot movements, along with singing, dancing, chanting, and acting.

Many Latino/Latina and Multicultural groups participate in stepping as well. Stroll (aka Party Walk, Party Hop) A line dance done by members of cultural Greek organizations; usually done at a party or step show. TeeKee The large necklace worn with large Greek letters on them. Similar to a lavaliere but much larger and often made out of wood.

Total Total is the allowable chapter size, including both new and initiated members, as determined by the Panhellenic Council. Yard The term used to refer to the particular campus or university a chapter is at.

Why do sorority girls snap?

8 Things to Expect When Going Through Sorority Recruitment Photo by Ka Vang ’16 Each fall semester, Winona State’s two national sororities, Delta Phi Epsilon (DPhiE) and Sigma Sigma Sigma (Tri-Sig), host formal recruitment. Recruitment gives these organizations a chance to expand their members and get to know other women on campus! This spring, Tri-Sig will be hosting informal recruitment starting tonight (Tuesday, Jan.26)! Recruitment can be scary yet exciting, so here are 8 things you can expect if you are thinking about going through recruitment! 1.

  1. It is probably going to be intimidating Walking into a room full of women, most of which you have never met, can always be a scary way to put yourself out there.
  2. However, they are just as nervous to meet you and they are going to welcome you with the most open arms.
  3. The women you meet are so excited that you are interested in the organization that has brought them so much happiness and they only hope that you want to be a part of it.

It may be intimidating and nerve wracking, but as long as you stay true to yourself they’re going to love you! 2. Chants and snaps No matter what group of sorority women you’re meeting, you’ll walk into the room and they will immediately share their organization’s favorite songs and chants.

They will probably be loud and you’ll probably wonder what’s going on but most times it will give you chills just seeing the pride and excitement that comes from those chants. And clapping isn’t much of a thing, rather sorority women snap to show appreciation or that they agree with you. So, if women start snapping, just join in! 3.

You’re going to learn a lot Greek life does so much for the community around them that many people don’t get to see. From highway clean ups, volunteering at the humane society and raising tons of awareness for their philanthropies, Greek organizations involve themselves as much as they can! Not to mention having events that bond themselves with their sisterhood along with other organizations all while keeping a strong academic structure.

Active sister of DPhiE Shannon Brown said, “You have nothing to lose by going through recruitment. Seriously nothing. The worst that could happen is that things don’t go as planned, but regardless, everyone walks out learning new things about others and themselves.” 4. You’ll immediately be obsessed with the apparel One of the first things you’ll notice is how every woman is wearing the same cute top that you scrolled by on Pinterest last week.

And you’ll immediately want it. But you’ll also notice that although each woman may be wearing the same apparel, each one wears it differently. A sorority is made up of all different types of personalities and characteristics and that is just one of the many reasons that makes it so great.5.

The stereotypes will go away Active sister of DPhiE Alannah Evelius said, “Don’t expect the stereotypical sorority girls. These are some of the girls that are capable of changing your entire life.” Movies and TV shows portray Greek life in a way that is so unrealistic it can easily scare off women who would be great assets to such organizations.

You don’t have to have a certain hair color, body type or style to join a Greek organization. You will not be asked to do anything you’re uncomfortable with in order to join the organization, as any nationally recognized sorority does NOT tolerate hazing.

  • Just be your self and if it feels right, it probably is! 6.
  • Questions You’ll be asked questions and you’ll ask tons of questions yourself.
  • It’s all about getting to know the women and for the women to get to know you.
  • It is not an interview, instead it’s super casual.
  • Small talk is made over food, games and often times a community service activity.

This is a good way for you to get to know the women whom you may call your sister one day. Active sister of DPhiE, Lexie Adamsky said “It’s more relaxed here which makes it a lot more fun,” 7. You’ll make friends regardless of the outcomes Active sister of Tri-Sig Samantha Lee said, “I hope each of the beautiful ladies going through recruitment embrace who they are, and realize they’re talking to not only future friends, but lifelong sisters.” You get to know other women whether you like it or not and many of times those small conservations can bloom into a beautiful friendship.8.

Can you have a boyfriend while in a sorority?

In a sorority, you have formal events you can bring your partner to, mixers where you can meet frat guys and sorority girls, and even get serious by getting lavaliered — a promise ring of sorts where your significant other gifts you with their organization letters.

Can you be a sweetheart if you’re not in a sorority?

What is a Fraternity Sweetheart? What is a Fraternity Sweetheart? Fraternities and sororities have a history of using the term “” to reward individuals that are most involved and dedicated to their chapter. In short, a fraternity sweetheart is a sorority woman chosen by the chapter to represent their fraternity and become a part of their organization.

Becoming a fraternity sweetheart is a big deal at many schools across the nation and is a big commitment–fraternity sweethearts have a year-long commitment to the fraternity and participate in a multitude of the fraternity’s events. Although there aren’t a set of rules to becoming a fraternity’s sweetheart, there is an unspoken requirement of dedication to the fraternity.

This means that a true fraternity sweetheart is taking the role because she genuinely enjoys the brotherhood of that fraternity. Additionally, a fraternity sweetheart is generally someone who is very outgoing, kind, and involved on campus. For a lot of fraternities, choosing a sweetheart that already has a great reputation on campus is a big deal, because it shows other students (who may or may not be involved in Greek life) that there is far more to the fraternity other than the social scene.

  • If a well-rounded and sociable woman is their sweetheart, the fraternity is far more likely to have a better reputation.
  • Becoming a fraternity sweetheart is different at every school.
  • There may be a chapter vote, campus vote, a competition, or even just an appointment of duties.
  • You may have to be in a certain sorority to become a specific fraternity’s sweetheart, and you may even need to be in a certain sorority family.

There isn’t a universal list of requirements, so it may take research depending on what school you attend. The most important thing to consider when looking to become a fraternity’s sweetheart is how much time you’ll be able to commit to the organization.

It is very common for fraternity sweethearts to be active in their fraternity’s philanthropic events, fundraisers, events, and parties. Depending on your school or fraternity, you may even attend their house dinners and have other duties. Keep in mind that these activities all may range from just a few hours a week to a few hours every day.

When looking to become a fraternity sweetheart, you should make sure that you discuss the role thoroughly with both the fraternity of your choice and your sorority. The fraternity will tell you what exactly is expected of you, and your sorority sisters may even have advice or past experiences to share.

  • Additionally, make sure that you are doing proper research and that you are well-prepared for the role.
  • It is easy to feel a lot of social pressure in a role like this, and it is important to remember that yourself and your academics come first.
  • Overall, being a fraternity sweetheart is a huge tradition at many schools.

If being a fraternity sweetheart is really important to you, make sure your voice is heard and that you prove your dedication to the fraternity! : What is a Fraternity Sweetheart?

Can you be shy and join a sorority?

Concluding thoughts on joining a sorority if you’re shy – Sorority life, on the outside looking in, looks like an extrovert’s paradise. However, don’t let the movies or social media make you believe that shy or introverted girls don’t have a place in a sorority.

Does Harvard have sororities?

Since Harvard University does not formally recognize sororities, there isn’t a traditional sorority scene on campus. Read on to get to know some facts about Harvard University sororities. Sororities and other unofficial single-gender social organizations do exist outside of the university’s formal structure, however.

What’s the difference between a sorority and a fraternity?

Gender exclusivity – Fraternities and sororities traditionally have been single-sex organizations, with fraternities consisting exclusively of men and sororities consisting exclusively of women. In the United States, fraternities and sororities have a statutory exemption from Title IX legislation prohibiting this type of gender exclusion within student groups, and organizations such as the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee lobby to maintain it.

Since the mid-20th century a small number of fraternities, such as Alpha Theta, Lambda Lambda Lambda, and Alpha Phi Omega have opted to become co-educational and admit female members; however, these generally represent a minority of Greek-letter organizations and no such fraternity is currently a member of the North American Interfraternity Conference, the largest international association of fraternities.

The first coed fraternity was Pi Alpha Tau (1963–1991) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Much more commonly, coed fraternities exist in the form of service fraternities, such as Alpha Phi Omega, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Alpha Tau Mu and others,

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These organizations are similar to social fraternities and sororities, with the exception of being coed and non-residential. Similarly, in the United States, professional fraternities, such as Delta Sigma Pi, Alpha Kappa Psi, and Phi Gamma Nu are required to be co-ed under the Title IX amendments, as are any fraternities that are not social fraternities.

In 2014, Sigma Phi Epsilon became the first fraternity in the North American Interfraternity Conference to accept transgender members, or those identifying as male, to join the social fraternity. Several sororities have adjusted their policies to confirm that transgender prospective members are allowable.

Importantly, all these variants have stemmed from a process of self-determination, without challenge by other Greeks. In a bellwether case in 2016, Harvard University changed its student conduct code to bar members of single-sex groups from leading campus groups, serving as captains of sports teams or participating in valuable academic fellowships.

This is being contested vigorously in U.S. federal court by several affected fraternities and sororities.

Do sororities look at followers?

DON’T: Post anything that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see – What Is A Sorority While you may think social media is something only your close friends will be looking at, what you post lives on the internet for everyone to find. Sororities, and even future employers, can see what you post, so you want to make sure that what you are posting is 100% appropriate.

What do you call a sorority girl?

Sister – A term used by sorority members in reference to one another. Sorority – The name that applies to female chapters and is characterized by a ritual, a pin, and a strong bond of friendship.

Who is sorority woman?

A chiefly social organization of women students at a college or university, usually designated by Greek letters. A group of women or girls joined together by common interests, for fellowship, etc.

What is sorority feminism?

International Women’s Day: Feminism and Sorority in the Gulf By ECDHR staff On March 8 th, 2022, International Women’s Day, ECDHR hosted a webinar with an all-women panel, entitled Women’s Solidarity in Human Rights Activism: Storytelling from the Arab Peninsula,

The event was held in collaboration with the International Campaign for Freedom in the United Arab Emirates (ICFUAE), ALQST, and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), within the proceedings of the Alternative Human Rights Expo. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we chose the topic of sorority among Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) as the guiding thread for the event.

The feminist concept of sorority was defined during the second wave of feminism (1960-1980) ” as a bond of female brotherhood that would overcome the differences of class, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and nationality, putting gender before any other existential condition “.

  1. At ECDHR, we indeed believe that the differences in the level and forms of gender inequality that women face around the world should not prevent us from sharing a common struggle.
  2. Western feminism has often imposed its understanding of both gender oppression and liberation, neglecting the voices of women with less influence but similar yearnings for change.

Thus, when choosing the format of the event, both the organisers and speakers felt that the best way to create sorority and challenge systems of oppression was through storytelling, as this provided speakers a space to share their collective experiences and struggles as WHRD in the Gulf countries.

During the event, the strength of the voices and stories of these women captivated the audience and served to be a powerful example of the potentiality of sorority. After the introductory remarks of Member of the European Parliament Alessandra Moretti, which reminded the audience of the importance of EU institutions for the promotion of women’s rights, the panel started with Habiba Al-Hinai, a WHRD from Oman.

Habiba soon captivated her audience with her stories of feminist combats. She shared with the public the discriminations lived under patriarchal Omani personal status laws which continue, to this day, to deprive women of the right to pass their nationality to their children.

She talked about her international advocacy work to change this ruthless system that treats Omani women as second-class citizens. Additionally, she mentioned that during her work she has often denounced the international community for turning a blind eye to the Omani people’s democratic demands of 2011, prioritising national interests before the rights and freedoms of Gulf citizens.

In such an international context of impunity, the Omani government has escalated its use of harassment and reprisals against women for their advocacy work. Whilst having personally experienced these targeted reprisals, her determination to continue fighting for women’s rights is an inspiration for younger generations.

Habiba’s intervention was followed by Hala Al-Dosari, a WHRD from Saudi Arabia. As many Saudi WHRD, ” growing up in Saudi Arabia traumatised her into feminism. ” The staggering limitations on Saudi women’s freedoms have long been a central theme to feminist international advocacy, however, it was shocking to hear Hala’s description of the extent to which women are dependent on their male guardians and discriminated against.

For instance, most non-Gulf citizens are unaware that women are unable to work night shifts due to family and travel restrictions. The economic dependence which women are forced into makes them vulnerable to domestic violence and abuse. Once the dramatic situation of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia was summarised, Hala described her efforts to build an advocacy community.

It is indeed thanks to social media that her activism has been amplified. She has been able to build an advocacy community and has achieved great successes such as the right for Saudi women to drive. The Saudi government has obviously not been compliant with such successful activism, rather it has targeted and silenced WHRD through numerous campaigns of repression.

The only voices allowed are those affiliated with the royal family, who promote the narrative of economic and social progress that serves to further the government’s diplomatic and economic interests. Currently exiled to the US, Hala still faces harassment for her advocacy work.

Radya Al-Mutawakel, a WHRD from Yemen, described the growing challenges faced by women in the country. Since 2014, Yemen has been home to a brutal war involving armed groups and the Saudi-led military coalition. Radya’s recount was especially poignant: she recalled how past successes in the implementation of women’s rights have been abruptly erased by the brutality of war.

In fact, human rights and women’s rights can flourish and be ensured only in a country where social institutions and the rule of law dictate social life. But in war, no rule of law exists. Women’s rights are instead at the mercy of armed groups. Survival has become the priority, and rights have regrettably become a luxury.

  1. Radya shared her fears that women’s rights will further shrink because of the conflict: in particular, starvation and sexual violence have become weapons of war employed by all parties to the conflict.
  2. While the scenario described appears hopeless, Radya and WHRD in Yemen lack neither hope nor resilience.

The last speaker, Jenan Almarzooqi a WHRD from the United Arab Emirates currently living in the United States, could not attend live, but shared her call for solidarity in a recorded speech. The discrimination and injustice her family have been subjected to for the sole reason of having asked for democratic reforms has driven her to the advocacy world.

As one of the few women human rights defenders from the UAE still free to advocate for women’s rights, she has oftentimes felt isolated. She, therefore, calls for unity and sorority among Gulf WHRD to pursue broader and more effective actions. She ended by commemorating WHRDs that are no longer with us, and by acknowledging the courage of those that are still serving prison sentences.

The speakers and the moderators then engaged in a brief discussion concerning the best strategies to adopt, so as to amplify Gulf WHRD’s voices and work. Most importantly, they highlighted the need to oppose those domineering voices that propagate the regimes’ narratives.

  1. The authoritarian GCC governments have indeed attempted to monopolise and dilute the human rights discourse by promoting a façade of international commitments.
  2. However, foreign countries should not allow themselves to be seduced by these narratives, they should instead provide a platform for independent WHRDs and take measures to enhance their freedom of expression.

Oftentimes exiled in foreign countries, or silenced in their homelands, Gulf WHRD would benefit from uniting. Accordingly, Habiba Al-Hinai proposed setting up a Women’s Gulf Committee as an umbrella organisation to facilitate collective action in this regard.

What does sorority girl mean urban?

Urban Dictionary’s definition of a sorority girl: ‘A sorority girl is a female college student belonging to a social sorority. She may or may not live in a sorority house. She will normally be seen wearing Chanel sunglasses, a Northface jacket, and bag representing her sorority’s letters.