Past President of UWC Winnipeg Sandra Millen and former National President of CFUW Doris Mae Oulton (2014 – 2016) with a poster for for the CFUW Centennial. The picture is of Margaret McWilliams and the setting is the living room of the Ralph Connor House
Canadian delegates to the 1921 Paris Conference of the International Federation of University Women. Margaret McWilliams is seated at centre.
CANADIAN FEDERATION OF
GRADUATE WOMEN INTERNATIONAL
Graduate Women International is an international network linking women graduates from all cultures, all fields of study, all professions and all generations.
jUNE 30, 2015 MEMBERS OF GWI IN TURKEY TAKING ACTION FOR CHANGE IN WOMEN'S RIGHTS CITED IN THE CIVIL CODE
Today their mission is to:
GWI also offers numerous conferences, seminars and workshops that provide opportunities to discuss global issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.
GWI (GRADUATE WOMEN INTERNATIONAL)
IFUW Becomes GWI
by Muriel Smith
Article No. 8 - Final Thoughts on GWI
This will be my last commentary on GWI and the question of whether CFUW retain or sever its relationship. Our Winnipeg Club has had its AGM discussion on the matter and voted overwhelmingly to sever the tie. Our president received that advice from Winnipeg members by secret ballot as to how she should vote at the CFUW AGM in St. Catharines in late June. What happens in St. Catharines will then determine how our CFUW delegation will vote on future affiliation, proposed constitutional changes and budget for the next Triennium at the GWI AGM in Cape Town, South Africa in late August.
My feeling at this point is that the unwillingness to take on an additional financial burden will carry the day, both in Canada and South Africa. At both events, there will be many eloquent pleas made for the benefits of being part of an international organization, one that CFUW helped found in order to promote, with worldwide political and economic decision-makers, the importance of educating girls and women. We too often forget the role education has played in enriching our own lives, and that far too many of the world’s girls and women have not yet had that door to equality and opportunity opened for them.
While my personal preference is that CFUW remain affiliated with GWI, I have spent some time reflecting on why women’s groups, here and elsewhere, find that regardless of the flood of good will and hard work, we have not been able collectively to marshal the resources, human and capital, to support and sustain our local, national and international women’s organizations.
I have been considering both the history and the current realities of women’s lives. While there are a few exceptions, women as a group have had long and arduous struggles both to support themselves and their families economically and to project their voices into public decision-making arenas to benefit all women. Add to that, while struggling for their own and their sisters’ equality, they have been carrying by far the greater burdens of care giving and community building. Women university graduates on average have fared much better but too many of us still believe we cannot readily absorb significant fee increases.
Even in Canada where many women have been in the workforce and have built up substantial pensions, that is not true for all, even in Clubs where fees are substantially lower than our Winnipeg Club which has a costly historic house to maintain. These three factors – women only recently and not in all countries entering the political and economic mainstream; our paid employment, if any, predominantly in lower paid service sectors; and our greater share of responsibility for care giving and community building – combine to reduce the ability of many of us to absorb cost increases.
Unless those of us who argue for keeping our international connection with GWI are able to persuade members of the need for and value of belonging to this organization we helped found and have helped to guide, one with a purposeful commitment to promote education for girls and women worldwide as the best means to achieve equality and peace, I fear the “bottom-line”, however important it is, will always become the decisive factor.
REPORTS FROM CFUW LIAISON LEONA MACDONALD 2015-2017
CFUW AGM - ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO - JUNE, 2016
(Left to Right)
SANDY MILLEN, PAT ELLIOTT, BEVERLEY BOUDREAU, LEONA MACDONALD, RUTH SUDERMAN, MURIEL SMITH
( CAROLYNNE PRESSER WAS THERE TOO!)