Sandy Millen (R) at UN CSW 63 in New York with CFUW President Grace Hollett (L) and The Honourable Mariam Monsef, Canada’s Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality.

The sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York  March 11-22, 2019. Sandy was one of the CFUW delegates.


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.


CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with over 100 CFUW Clubs, located in every province across Canada. Since its founding in 1919, CFUW has been working to improve the status of women, and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace. CFUW is the largest affiliate of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW), the leading girls’ and women’s global organization run by and for women, advocating for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels.

Our vision is of a strong national organization working to ensure that all girls and women have equal opportunities and equal access to quality education within a peaceful and secure environment where their human rights are respected.  Our vision includes a world where poverty is reduced, discrimination eliminated, where there are equal opportunities for leadership, employment, income, education, careers and the ability to maximize potential.
Mission Statement

CFUW will continue to enhance its role as a national, bilingual, independent organization striving to promote equality, social justice, fellowship and life-long learning for women and girls.

CFUW’s Purpose

The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW/FCFDU) is a leading national equality-seeking organization that works to advance the human rights of women and girls.

  1. Promote high standards of public education in Canada, advanced study and research by women, and sound concept of lifelong learning.
  2. Advocate for the advancement of the status of women, human rights and the common good locally, nationally and internationally.
  3. Promote cooperation, networking, support and understanding among women.
  4. Encourage and enable women to apply their knowledge and skills in leadership and decision‐making in all aspects of the political, social, cultural, educational and scientific fields.

CFUW/FCFDU is committed to:

  • Improving the status of women and girls
  • Promoting quality public education
  • Advancing the status of women, human rights, justice and peace

National Activities

  • Informs the Government of Canada about CFUW/FCFDU policies on education, the status of women, human rights, justice, social and environmental issues
  • Provides members with opportunities to network at local, regional, provincial, national and international meetings
  • Supports the CFUW/FCFDU Charitable Trust which
  • Receives individual and Club donations
  • Administers funds for:
    • Graduate Awards and Fellowships
    • The Creative Music Award through the Banff School of the Performing Arts in Alberta

Local Clubs of CFUW/FCFDU:

  • Provide opportunities for fellowship and support
  • Hold meetings on educational, cultural and social issues with an emphasis on the status of women and girls
  • Have special interest and study groups on a wide range of topics
  • Research and present resolutions for consideration at the CFUW/FCFDU Annual General Meeting
  • Ensure that local MPs, MNAs; MLAs; MPPs are aware of CFUW/FCFDU policies
  • Advocate for CFUW policies at the local level


Graduate Women International is an international network linking women graduates from all cultures, all fields of study, all professions and all generations.

GWI has national affiliates in 62 countries, including CFUW, and individual members in more than 40 others.

It was founded in 1919 after World War I by women graduates who believed in the importance of working together for peace, international understanding and friendship.


Today their mission is to:

  • promote lifelong education for women and girls; promote international cooperation, friendship, peace and respect for human rights for all, irrespective of their gender, age, race, nationality, religion, political opinion, gender and sexual orientation or other status; advocate for the advancement of the status of women and girls; and
  • encourage and enable women and girls to apply their knowledge and skills in leadership and decision-making in all forms of public and private life.

They provide a global voice for women graduates, working for the adoption and implementation of international agreements that will protect and benefit all women and girls.

Members volunteer their expertise in a wide-range of community projects, such as:

  • literacy and vocational training programmes;
  • free medical and legal clinics;
  • programmes to prevent domestic violence; and
  • campaigns to increase women’s awareness of their rights and to promote women’s participation in the political process.

GWI also offers numerous conferences, seminars and workshops that provide opportunities to discuss global issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Visit GWI's website for more information.


February 2020

We continue to learn about CFUW partnerships and affiliations with organizations at international, national and local levels in the advancement of its mission and goals. B. CFUW Affiliations with Organizations involved in National Advocacy

  1. Up for Debate Alliance.......CFUW is part of the Up for Debate Alliance which worked on promoting debates on women’s issues during Canada’s 2019 federal election. CFUW participates in the Up for Debate Working Group: Public Engagement and Local Mobilization. The 2019 Up for Debate group included: Canada without Poverty, Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, Women Shelters Canada, YWCA, Oxfam Canada etc. There are no costs associated with this affiliation.
  2. Canadian Labour Congress(CLC).....CFUW has worked on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace with CLC. Each year before the Commission on the Status of Women(CSW) in New York, CLC hosts CFUW staff for a day briefing in preparation for CSW. There are no costs associated with this affiliation.
  3. Canadian Women’s Foundation.....CFUW has been invited to be part of the Foundation’s Women’s Rights Policy Group and will be attending their Montreal meetings for which the Foundation will bear the costs. There are no costs associated with this affiliation.
  4. Child Care Now......In co-operation with Child Care Now, CFUW has developed a Grandparents for Child Care website. There are no direct costs however CFUW bore the costs of developing the website.
  5. Inter Pares.....Inter Pares works with more than one hundred organizations to build peace, advance justice and globalize equality. Their programs focus on six global issues: food sovereignty, women’s equality, peace and democracy, economic justice, health and migration.

    Note: CFUW designated Inter Pares as its International Women’s Day(IWD) project for 2018, 2019 and 2020. Our Winnipeg club fundraises for Inter Pares by making contributions to Sandy’s Care Bears at the club in March.
  6. Women Peace and Security Network.....CFUW staff have been attending Network meetings for years. CFUW has signed onto their letters to the government regarding the national plan on women, peace and security and the Arms Trade Treaty. There is a $100 membership fee.
  7. OxFam.....CFUW works with Oxfam to organize the Ottawa IWD annual event. CFUW has supported Oxfam’s campaign on a public child care system in Canada. Oxfam is part of the Up for Debate group, the Women’s Rights Policy Group and the Women Peace and Security Network.

    There are no costs associated with this affiliation.
  8. National Association of Women and the Law(NAWL).....CFUW has had a long standing relationship with NAWL which promotes Canadian women’s equality through action, legal research and education.

    There are no costs associated with this affiliation.
  9. Canadian Research Institute on the Advancement of Women(CRIAW)......CRIAW focuses on making feminist research accessible for public education.

Note: CFUW is planning a 2020 webinar with CRIAW on intersectionality.
More next month........CFUW Affiliations with Educational Institutions

December 2019

A. CFUW Affiliations with Organizations involved in International Advocacy

  1. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations........see October Bulletin
  2. United Nations Human Rights Council........see October Bulletin
  3. Graduate Women International (GWI).........CFUW has been a member of GWI for 100 years. GWI has approximately 16,000 individual members and many national federations and associations. GWI works in the area of women’s rights, undertakes international advocacy, has representation at various UN agencies and funds women’s projects. CFUW has a memorandum of understanding with GWI. (Note: GWI was previously known as IFUW.)
    Last year, CFUW paid $229,079 in dues to GWI.
  4. International Alliance of Women (IAW)........IAW is an international non-government organization comprising of 52 member organizations involved in the promotion of women’s human rights, equality and the empowerment of women. The IAW has general consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council and is accredited to many specialized UN agencies. In New York at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), CFUW meets with IAW to discuss matters of common interest and one of their members participated on the CFUW CSW parallel event last year.
    CFUW pays $166 to be an affiliate member of IAW.
  5. American Association of University Women (AAUW).......The mandate of AAUW is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. CFUW has a passive affiliation with AAUW and benefits from their published research material.
    An individual fee to join is $59 and the CFUW Executive Director has joined as an individual member.
  6. International Council of Women (ICW)........Through CFUW’s membership with the National Council of Women, CFUW is a member of ICW. The ICW unites National Councils of Women worldwide advocating global action for international peace and justice, capacity-building for women, human rights and the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals with respect to the Beijing Platform for Action. CFUW signs onto their letters of common interest and they do the same for CFUW. The National Council of Women have been cooperative in allowing some of the CFUW members to be part of their delegation to the CSW in New York if the CFUW delegate capacity is filled.
    Membership cost: $150
  7. Commission for UNESCO........The Canadian Commission for UNESCO helps Canadians share knowledge locally and globally to create better societies and create peace in the minds of men and women. To do so, the Commission facilitates cooperation in the fields of education, science etc. to address some of the most complex challenges facing the world today.

With its initiatives and networks, the Commission supports the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustaina-ble Development. CFUW’s VP International Relations, Joy Hurst, serves as CFUW’s representative to the Education section of the Commission. The Commission pays for Ms Hurst to attend the annual general meeting.

There is no cost to CFUW. be Continued in the February 2020 Bulletin
B. CFUW Affiliations with Organizations Involved in National Advocacy.

November 2019

A recent Newsletter from the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) described our affiliations and partnerships with various organizations at the local, national and international levels. Some of these affiliations\partnerships involve paid membership dues or else in-kind services or else no membership fees. But all provide value to our organization and there is benefit to understanding more about these organizations. The next several CFUW Liaison monthly reports will describe these affiliations\partnerships starting with:


1. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations.........This Council is one of the six main organs of the United Nations and is the principal body for policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations of economic, social and environmental issues as well as implementation of internationally agreed development goals. *CFUW has special consultative status with ECOSOC which allows for attendance at meetings of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. There is no fee but in order to maintain CFUW’s consultative status there are reporting require-ments....NOTE: Some of our local club members have had opportunity to attend these important meetings.

2. United Nations Human Rights Council......CFUW participates in the consultations held by Global Affairs Canada in discussing the agendas and outcomes of the UN Human Rights Council. *In October 2017, CFUW submitted a report to the Council on the Universal Periodic Review... a review of human rights records in all UN member states.