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.
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.
Registration for the 2019 Annual General Meeting and Conference is open. The event will be at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Aug. 15-17, 2019. Information on registering, tours, accommodations, dining and more, can be seen at: http://www.cfuw.proreg.ca.
Early Bird Discount ends July 12. Final registration deadline: Aug. 12.
Members can participate by registering or volunteering (sign up in the hall-table book)
Three motions will be voted upon at the CFUW AGM:
PLEASE NOTE: At our club’s Annual General Meeting, May 27th at 1:30 pm, our members will be asked to vote on these motions so that our President will be informed as to how to vote when these motions are on the floor at the CFUW AGM in August.
- Motion 1: National Dues Increase for CFUW The motion from the CFUW Finance Committee to the Board is for a per capita increase of $6.00 for CFUW.
Motion 2: National Dues Increase for GWI Membership Fees. The motion from the Finance Committee to the Board is for a per capita increase of $10 for GWI membership dues and support expenses.
The two motions above will be voted on separately.
- Motion 3: Winnipeg Motion This motion deals with differentiated CFUW dues for members who wish or do not wish to pay GWI dues. The Club has prepared background information, which is in the Apr. 11 CFUW newsletter
CFUW Advocacy Issues: The March 21st Press Release announces the Federal government’s support or non-support of CFUW Advocacy Issues: Funding for Women’s Organizations, Universal Child Care, Climate Change, Anti-Racism and Discrimination, Pharmacare and Indigenous Reconciliation. The connection to the website is listed below.
Important Dates and Deadlines
- June 1: Deadline to raise funds for IWD-Inter Pares fundraising project
- June 20: Deadline for IFUW pins draw
- July 12: Deadline for AGM Early Bird Registration
- August 12: Final Registration Date for CFUW AGM
- August 15-17: 2019 AGM & Conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Please look for fuller information in the CFUW binder in the Ralph Connor Room.
CFUW NEWS ONLINE: www.cfuwadmin.org
CFUW releases remind us of the AGM 2019 to be held in Winnipeg, (Hotel Fort Garry) August 15-17 this summer. Hopefully a huge number of our members will be attending or assisting in this 100th Anniversary Celebration…
To mark the anniversary, scholarships, in addition to the $1 million usu-ally distributed annually across the country, in the amount of $100,000 will be awarded by the Charitable Trust. Some focusing on gender equality research; others on Indigenous students or projects. Since 2019 is International Year of Indigenous Languages, CFUW suggests that given that Canada has over 70 different Indigenous languages, clubs could get involved in learning more about them. In 2017, CFUW adopted a third National Initiative: Indigenous People with a focus on intensifying efforts to learn more about issues facing Indigenous people and how we might offer support.
After 42 years of serving Canadian women, The Status of Women Canada became a full and equal Federal Department under the law. Previously under the Department of Heritage, it is now called WAGE - the Department of Women and Gender Equality.
The ‘Intent to Submit Resolution’ Nov. 15th deadline came and went with not a single resolution re-ceived from across the country for the upcoming AGM. CFUW is thus encouraging clubs to become involved in the 2019 Federal Election via a two-step process:
- Hold club discussions on potential election issues based on past adopted resolutions or CFUW national initiatives (pay equity, universal child care, clean water on reservations, universal pharmacare etc. – entire list is in the CFUW January 8th RESOLUTIONS IN ACTION issue) and submit the top 5 topics to CFUW by April 15.
- CFUW will then provide a short list of key issues with backgrounders and talking points that clubs/members can use when greeting candidates at the door, at all-candidate forums or for programming on issues expected to be on party platforms.
CFUW NEWS ONLINE: www.cfuwadmin.org
The Alice Evelyn Wilson plaque was unveiled at the Canadian Museum of Nature (Ottawa), Oct. 18th to honour this woman of national historic significance. Alice worked with the Canadian Geological Survey from 1909 and could not get leave from work to return to school, until CFUW advocated and provided her with a Fellowship to further her doctoral studies.
CFUW urges members to attend local events for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence Campaign being held from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10.
The local photography team of Sandy Millen and Leona MacDonald sent to CFUW several photos of local monuments of Winnipeg women, who were gracefully adorned with CFUW’s 100th Anniversary Scarves.
CFUW’s 100th Anniversary AGM Aug. 14-17 in Winnipeg includes an opening reception, gala dinner and the business meetings. A Special Event is being planned, Notable Women, on the Thursday prior to the official opening and a lunch for Club Presidents plus the Charitable Trust breakfast on Saturday. We trust that all UWC members plan to attend this important milestone event.
On the recommendation of the 100th Anniversary Committee the Board passed a motion setting up a SAGE Award to be given by each Club to the current member of that Club with the longest period of CFUW membership. Recipients will be honoured with a silver pin and certificate to be presented locally by participating Clubs.
The CFUW Negotiating Team has a mandate, has done some research, and soon will be presenting a negotiating package to the CFUW Board. GWI and CFUW teams have exchanged Terms of Reference, names of team members and look forward to amicably working towards a solution.
CFUW has announced the names of the 20 members who applied or and have been selected to attend as CFUW delegates to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW63) in March 2019 in New York. The theme is Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Sandra Millen has been selected from our club with congratulations. CFUW’s statement, “Promoting Gender Equality through Quality Public Education Systems and Services” focuses on tackling systemic barriers in accessing education for women and girls and ensuring safe and non-discriminatory learning environments.
The CFUW Creative Arts Award was created to promote interest and involvement in the creative arts by engaging audiences and inspiring discussion. The $4,000 award, set up by the CFUW Charitable Trust is awarded biennially. Each submission must be nominated by a Club local to the applicant. Applications will be accepted for the 2019 Award from Jan. 1 to April 1, 2019.
Several clubs are establishing scholarships to celebrate CFUW’s 100th Anniversary.
A reminder that CFUW President Grace Hollett will be in Winnipeg Oct. 24th. Members who attend the Bar 54 event will be able to meet her there.
October is Women’s History Month. This year’s theme, #MakeAnImpact, will celebrate women who have made a lasting impact. See more info on the Status of Women Canada website.
As part of the 100th Anniversary Celebrations the Dr. A. Vibert Fellowship has been established to honour the internationally known astrophysicist, who was president of IFUW from 1947-1950. The fellow-ship for a PhD thesis/project focuses on advancing gender equality. The project must be led by women and can be used in any country other than the one in which the applicant was educated or in which she resides. With a value of $8,000CD, it is open to any female student who meets the listed requirements, and whose project aligns with CFUW’s mission, aims and objectives. Application information and eligible project examples can be found at https://fcfdu.fluidreview.com/. Deadline:November 1, 2018. Please direct questions to Betty Dunlop at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CFUW is sending a delegation of women to the 63rd annual meeting of the United Nations Status of Women Commission held March 11-22, 2019 in New York City. If interested in attending, further infor-mation can be found on the CFUW website.
A few members took part in the Charitable Trust Scholarship webinar, Women and Education; Indigenous Experiences Oct. 13th at the club, thoroughly enjoying the two featured women who relayed their experiences: one an educator on the Kahnawake reserve; the other a Winnipeg Métis student in her final year at Osgoode Hall Law School, the recipient of the CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award.
Clubs are urged to be pro-active about the 2018 edition of the 16 days of activism, Nov. 25- Dec. 10, to help raise awareness against gender-based violence.
Some CFUW 100th Anniversary Scarves have been ordered by club members, so they can be worn when hosting fellow members in Winnipeg for the 100th Anniversary AGM.
Advocacy packages are available for the three resolutions passed at the 2018 AGM: a) Fair and Non-discriminatory Mgmt. of Refugees and Asylum seekers b) Ending Youth Homelessness c) Equitable Access to Provincial Curricula and Social Justice for all Children. Packages containing an informational brief and template letter that can be sent to local MPs and MLAs.
CFUW signed a joint statement ahead of the Women Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Montreal, calling on these ministers to recognize women human rights defenders, to ensure their safety, and to support and strengthen women’s movements. Full statement is on the CFUW website.
CFUW 100th Anniversary Scarves: National is asking clubs to take pictures of these scarves on public statues of women in our communities. Please forward (email@example.com) names and locations of statues of women around the city, as you drive around, so we’ll have a complete and impressive set of photos to submit from Winni-peg by Oct 31st. If you’d like to order a scarf for $30, in preparation for next year’s AGM in Winnipeg, please email Leona and we can put one order through for the club.
- Advocacy packages will be available soon for clubs to support the three resolutions passed at the 2018 AGM: a) Fair and Non-discriminatory Mgmt. of Refugees and Asylum seekers b) Ending Youth Homelessness c) Equitable Access to Provincial Curricula and Social Justice for all Children.
- 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence will be held Nov. 25-Dec. 10. Clubs are encouraged to create programs or participate during this period.
- The Universal Child Care program is being assisted with the launch of the Grandparents for Children campaign in time for the 2019 Federal election. Having watched Child Care failures and its impact on children, it was felt it was time for grandparents to mobilize and make this an election issue.
- Oct. 4th, Sisters in Spirit vigils will be held across Canada to raise awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Clubs are urged to participate and show support.
- Universal Pharmacare is close, but much advocacy is still required. Clubs are urged to advocate to ensure the bill will be passed and that all Canadians will benefit.
- Online harassment can now be dealt with through Heartmob-an online tool for support. Generally women and people of colour are attacked. Heartmob helps report abuses if and when they occur.
- All members should have received the Sept. 13th message from President Grace Hollett, who described GWI issues under discussion by the national board and the two board positions now filled. There is a need for a VP Prairies, now. If you are interested, please contact Leona MacDonald.
- The Charitable Trust will be presenting a Webinar Sat. Oct. 13th at 12:30 CST on Indigenous Women’s pursuit of post-secondary education their experiences, opportunities and challenges. Featured will be Earlyn Sharp, CFUW member, who designed the First Nations and Inuit Education program and Alana Robert, winner of the CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award. A sign up sheet will be in the book.
- CFUW released the Women in University: 25 Year Later report. The 1992 report showed a good knowledge of gender equality issues but poor implementation of practices to remedy the situation. Margaret Therrien, coordinator of the 2017 survey noted “that while some changes have occurred, reviewing the effectiveness of university policies and practices that are meant to promote gender equality are as relevant today as it was 25 years ago”. The report is available on the CFUW website.
CFUW’S first virtual AGM was Saturday, June 23rd, 2018. Twelve members “attended” in our dining room. Maggi did an amazing job of organizing and operating the webcast platform. Initially CFUW experienced technical glitches; however, once solved, the meeting progressed quite well. One definitely missed the ambience of a large plenary with members from across the country, but it was efficient, and all items on the agenda were dealt with after two time extensions. Highlights were:
The Board of Directors elected for the 2018-2020 term:
President: Grace Hollett* VP Membership: Lynne Kent* VP International Relations: Carol Motuz*
VP Education: Kathy Wilkinson VP Advocacy: Cheryl Ambrose (* contested seats)
For VP and RD positions please refer to the CFUW website. Pat Elliott remains R.D. of Manitoba
Though the floor was opened for nominations, none were received.
The Winnipeg Motion, which moved that individual members had a choice to opt in or out of GWI mem-bership needed a 66% approval rate to pass. It received 61.45%. The nays received 38.55%. Thus we are all still members of GWI.
The motion to increase CFUW fees was defeated.
All three resolutions passed:
- Fair and Non-Discriminatory Management of Refugees and Asylum Seekers
- Ending Youth Homelessness
- Equitable access to provincial curricula and social justice education for all children.The CFUW operating budget passed with a projected deficit of $59,568.
The Communicator - This biannual CFUW publication has posted the July issue on the website and is full of interesting topics. Access to website is listed at the end of this report.
The CFUW Charitable Trust and the Fellowships Committee are appealing for volunteers. Two positions are open on the CT Board and six on the Fellowship committees. For more information please see https://cfuwcharitabletrust.ca/. Deadline is Aug. 24th. Term of office is three years.
International Women’s Day charity: For the 2019 Fundraising project, CFUW announced that the IWD Fundraising Project this year is Promoting Justice for Women in Antioquia, Colombia, a project supported by Inter Pares with their Columbian counterpart Humanas. Inter Pares has worked over 40 years with organi-zations throughout the world to build peace, advance justice and globalize equality.
Pharmacare Survey – The Federal Government is surveying Canadians on their thoughts about Universal Pharmacare. This was a CFUW resolution passed at the 2017 AGM. The survey for members may be found in the July 24th Club Action newsletter on the CFUW website. Deadline is Sept. 28th.
The July 24th Club Action Newsletter has wonderful examples of outreach programs being conducted by CFUW clubs across Canada. Take a moment to see what other clubs are doing.
CFUW’S first electronic AGM will be held Saturday, June 23rd, 2018, 10:30 am - 3:30 pm CST. A one-hour break will be held at 12:30. Please sign up for the meeting and/or luncheon in the book. We hope as many members as possible will attend. Only credentialed voting delegates are permitted to vote during the AGM but members can par-ticipate in the discussions.
Club members viewing with a group, will need one computer connected to a projector that can be displayed on a wall or screen for the webcast from the Chorus Call website. A second computer, iPad or iPhone will be needed for the voting delegate for voting purposes. The deadline for registering as a home participant was June 1. June 8th, registered participants will receive a confirmation email, link to the webcast, instructions on how to participate and a reminder to sign up for a training sessions held June 14 at 11 a.m. CST or June 18 at 3 p.m. CST. To register for a training ses-sion, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This meeting is historic in that it is the first electronic AGM CFUW has held. We are hop-ing that technologically it will run smoothly. Additionally, given the vote on the Winnipeg proposal re: members opting in or out of GWI membership and the division on this issue, you may hear a vigorous and interesting debate. We hope that many members will enjoy this AGM at the club as a group.
CFUW members interested in joining a national committee are urged to read the job descrip-tions for various committees on the CFUW website and submit an Expression of Interest form to National Office. Committee Chairs and Members serve for a two-year term and are appointed at the beginning of each biennium by the new board of directors at a post-AGM Board meeting. Forms received indicating a member’s interest in serving as a committee member will be made available to committee chairs, who will identify their committee members in the six weeks following the post-AGM board meeting, and then take the names forward for ratification by the Board. Please contact Grace Hollett, National CFUW President at email@example.com for additional information.
CFUW Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries Recipients were listed in the May 24th newsletter and it was interesting to note that two Manito-ba women were on the list: Kimberley Wetten, Master of Natural Resources Management (M.N.R.M.) – University of Manitoba, who was awarded $8,000 for the CFUW Memorial Fellow-ship. Naomi Beingessner, Ph.D. Geography – University of Manitoba, who was awarded $5,000 for one of four CFUW Dr. Alice E. Wilson Awards.
The CFUW Discussion Forum is now open. Rules of participation are listed on the CFUW website on the May 24th newsletter and no doubt there are interesting ongoing conversations.
Please look for expanded information in the CFUW binder in the Ralph Connor Room.
CFUW NEWS ONLINE: www.cfuwadmin.org
CFUW PHONE: 1-613-234-8252 or toll-free at 1-888-220-9606
In its 99th year of existence, CFUW is holding its first Electronic AGM on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 from 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. CST. In the interests of cutting expenses, this type of meeting was suggested and an assessment will be done post meeting to determine whether this idea was worthwhile and one that could be repeated in the future.
There is a sign-up sheet in the event binder for the meeting and an Express lunch is being offered. We hope that many of you will attend. Not everyone is able to commit to an AGM, held in some far part of the country. With an electronic meeting, so many more will now have the opportunity to attend an AGM and see just how CFUW conducts its business.
Members can participate from home but must first ensure that their PC, adobe flash player, sound system and high speed internet is in good working order. One’s phone will be the microphone to connect to the meeting. If watching from home, please register online to be a participant (voting – our President; and/or non-voting- regular members) on June 1 at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cfuw-virtual-agm-2018-registration-45317421628. Please include your name, email, club, voting/non-voting status. On June 8th, confirmation will be received, information on the link up and step-by-step instructions on how to participate in the meeting. If watching from the club, one person can be registered and a complete list of people attending can be sent to CFUW at cfuwgen@ rogers.com. Sounds much simpler to attend the Webcast at the club and enjoy the company of other members, as the business of the day is discussed!
CFUW AGM voting will include:
- Fair and Non-discriminatory Management of Refugees and Asylum Seekers -submitted by CFUW Perth and District Club
- Ending Youth Homelessness – submitted by CFUW BC Council
- Education to Serve as a Vehicle for Social Justice for Vulnerable Children Living in Closed Religious Com-munities- submitted by CFUW Nelson and District. Complete Resolutions can be downloaded from the CFUW site.
- CFUW Board Election
- The Winnipeg Club’s motion to allow members to opt out of GWI. More information and some discussion on these topics will be available and will occur at the May 28th AGM of our club.
CANADIAN FEDERATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN (CFUW)
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Notice is hereby provided that the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) will be held electronically from 11:30 a.m. EST to 4:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, June 23, 2018 for the purpose of:
- Receiving annual reports and auditor’s report,
- Approving the audited financial statements,
- Considering proposed external policy resolutions,
- Considering proposed amendments to CFUW articles and bylaws,
- Considering proposed CFUW internal policies,
- Holding elections for the Board of Directors and
- Transacting such other business as may be brought before the meeting.
National President, CFUW
March 7 - The Board and RD Nominee list has been received. Three positions will be voted upon at the June Electronic AGM: President, VP International Affairs and Membership. Candidates may also be nominated from the "floor".
March 8 : A list of events around International Women’s Day was distributed. Our Winnipeg Club’s luncheon and support for MATCH was included in the extensive list of diverse issues dis-cussed at various events in clubs across Canada. Additionally there was information about the MATCH donations being matched.
Brief on Bill C-65 - This week CFUW submitted a brief on Bill C-65, a bill tackling the issue of harassment and violence in federally regulated workplaces. CFUW raised four concerns:
- addressing the fear for reprisal and financial barriers to reporting,
- creating an organizational and cultural shift,
- ensuring adequate funding and human resources for training and
- adopting comprehensive definitions of harassment and violence.
Rural Women Survey - This Year’s UN Theme is: Rural Women and the UN’s Sustainable
Development Goals with Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls being discussed. The initial survey triggered a request to administer a Community Organization survey, which targeted organizations that serve women in rural areas in Canada, Rwanda, and India. The survey collected information on
- Health Care,
- Access to Higher Education & Internet,
- Gender Based Violence,
- Gender Equity
CFUW Clubs’ News
CFUW Halliburton – hosted a public talk last month hearing from community members involved in refugee sponsorship programs. A timely event in light of the recent announcement that there is a shortage of refugee sponsors in Canada.
On March 19, CFUW Perth and District hosted a public presentation on Post-traumatic stress disorder
Advocacy: Clubs were asked to write letters to MPs to include Phamacare in federal budget.
- March 31 – Member numbers to be submitted along with payment of CFUW dues
- April 15 – Amendments to Resolutions
- May 1 – Amendments to by-laws
On International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, Feb. 6th, GWI is working towards the elimination of this harmful practice. This UN-sponsored awareness day was introduced in 2003.
- requested that figures for total donations to scholarships, Charitable Trust and other donations made between Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2017 be forwarded to CFUW by May 15.
- The 100th Anniversary Scholarship Project reports that an additional $155,000 will be given out in 2019 in additional awards. The Charitable Trust received donations totally $65,977 from 42 clubs, 4 Councils and numerous individuals for the additional awards.
- CFUW’s selection of MATCH as its charity, as part of International Women’s Day celebrations has suggested a fundraising idea, The Refugee Bag Auction in which unique bags made of refugee tents be auctioned at club functions. A generous donor has offered to match all funds raised.
- President Grace Hollett has written to Minister Philpott regarding concerns over the slow pro-gress to access safe drinking water and sanitation in Indigenous communities.
- The Articles and Bylaws Committee received and have vetted 11 Board proposals to amend the bylaws. The next step is to distribute them to clubs that will study them and submit any Amend-ments to the Amendment by May 1. The committee will study the A to A and have final Amend-ment back to clubs prior to the CFUW AGM in June.
Two financial motions will be voted during the 2018 AGM to be held electronically in June:
- CFUW Dues Increase Motion, from the Finance Committee to the Board, for a per capita increase of $11.00 (GWI fee increases are included in this figure). Clubs are to study the informa-tion prepared by the CFUW Finance Committee.
- CFUW Winnipeg Motion, that is promoting differing CFUW dues for members who wish or do not wish to pay GWI dues. Our club has prepared background information for study and consid-eration.
Feb. 28 – Board/ RD nominations
April 15 – Response amendments to the Resolved clauses
May 1 – Submission of Articles and Bylaws Amendments to the Amendments
GWI-CFUW President Grace Hollett
Subsequent to the resignation of Karen Dunnett from the position of National President, the CFUW Board has elected Grace Hollett as the new National President. The election will be ratified at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June, 2017.
Grace has been on the CFUW national Board of Directors since 2014 in the capacity of Vice President, Atlantic Canada. Previously she chaired the Regional Director group, and co-chaired the committee that produced the New Beginnings survey of CFUW. She chaired the Editorial Committee for the Past Presidents’ Biographies produced by the History Committee with various writers. She has served on the national Advocacy, Education, Governance, International Relations, Membership, History, and the Human Resources Committees as well as the Advisory Committee on the CFUW History Project. She has served in many capacities at the local level in her home Club of CFUW St. John’s as president, chair of the publicity and newsletter committee and a member of most committees and interest groups including Issues and Resolutions, the “Great Big Book Sale” to fund scholarships and for recreation the Club’s Tap Dancing group. She has been president of the Atlantic Regional Council since 2014.
Educated at Flat Island and St. John’s, NL, and with degrees in mathematics, history and educational administration, Grace worked as a teacher in the school system and at Memorial University and was an eight-year member of the elected executive of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association, working particularly on political action, gender equity and group insurance and as a member of the provincial Labour Relations Board. She later spent two years on the professional staff in Membership Services working with the local teacher branches. Grace has done volunteer work with a variety of organizations including the UCW and the Coalition against Violence (CAVAE). Grace and her husband Harold live at Mt. Pearl, NL and have five adult children and a lively family of grandchildren.
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. It holds special consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC) and belongs to the Education Committee of the Canadian Sub-Commission to UNESCO. CFUW contributes approximately $1 million annually to scholarships for women.
For more information, contact Robin Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
GWI - CFUW President Grace Hollett suggested that clubs ask members who may wish to voluntarily pay the GWI increase, not yet been approved at a CFUW AGM,
to submit the increased fee amount of $8.40 CD to the club. UWC President Linda Asper responded that our club will no longer be paying GWI dues. (Any voluntary fee submissions are to be sent directly to CFUW).
Prairie meetings led by VP Prairies, Bilkies McKen have been teleconferencing about a Prairie project clubs from across three provinces can participate in – one that will bring attention to a critical issue and increased profile to University Women’s Clubs. Pat Elliott, our regional VP is working on the committee.
CFUW - announced that 2018’s Global Giving Choice is MATCH, when celebrating International Women’s Day in March, the very same organization last year’s Women’s Day luncheon supported at our club.
The CFUW Advocacy Committee is striking an Ad Hoc committee to draft Terms of Reference for a proposed Policy Book Review Committee. If interested in serving, contact email@example.com.
A webinar on 150 Acts of Reconciliation will be available through CFUW on Feb. 1 at 3:00 pm CST. If members wish to participate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Material gathered from CFUW’s survey of rural women will be used for discussion at the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in March, the theme of which is Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and Empowerment for rural women and girls.
CFUW submitted a joint letter in anticipation of the June G7 summit in Ottawa urging a specific focus on three issues currently evading consensus among G7 countries:
- Supporting refugees, migrants and displaced persons
- Tackling climate change and its impact on poor and marginalized countries
- Ensuring the sexual and reproductive health and rights of people
- Template letters are available online for members wishing to send thoughts to the Senate that is currently reviewing Bill S-206 to repeal section #3 of the Criminal Code, that enables parents and teachers to use ‘reasonable force’ to discipline a child.
Jan 31 – Club membership numbers to be submitted to CFUW
Feb. 14 – Deadline for proposed amendments to CFUW Articles and Bylaws
Feb. 28 – Deadline for nominations for CFUW Board and Regional Director positions.
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!)