Maureen Maguire is the 2011/12 President of the Federation of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) of Soroptimist International. As well as the UK and Ireland, SIGBI encompasses many other Commonwealth countries (including India, Pakistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean and many more).
Maureen has been a Soroptimist since 1989. She served as Club President of SI Portadown for four years and as Regional President for SI Northern Ireland in 1998-1999. Currently she is a member of SI Lurgan.
Maureen joined SI because she finds it very rewarding to contribute to the cause of equality and social justice for women and girls. She believes that it has changed her life. She has made many friends, travelled widely, been involved in volunteering and sought to assist and support others in their resolve to move their lives forward. Maureen says “It is a great honour to be working with our members to continue to raise awareness of the inequalities faced by women and girls. For Soroptimists, a fulfilling life is about finding opportunities and using them for the betterment of all – I am aware that within our world today this is very difficult as these opportunities are not open or available to every woman. We are an organisation of friends and mentors – we learn from each other and we in turn should pass that learning on”.
Of the prize, Maureen says: “I am delighted to be asked to be a patron of this prize. One of the current key goals for Soroptimist International is to improve the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities. The SI Leeds Literary Prize seeks to give a voice to a seriously under-represented group of women writers in the UK. I wish it enormous success.”