Background on CFUW

Are you interested in learning more about CFUW, its origins, and its current member groups throughout Canada? We are happy to share a bit of background with you through a presentation from CFUW headquarters. Access the PDF of the presentation by clicking here.

CFUW Report for November 2023

UWC Winnipeg has invited CFUW President Joy Hurst to Winnipeg, and she is coming! It will be the Sunday, November 26, and Monday November 27th. Although she attended the CFUW AGM held a few years ago in Winnipeg, she has never visited Ralph Connor House, so be prepared to show her a warm Winnipeg welcome, at the Sunday program, and a special conversation circle on Monday morning.

CFUW has always lots to share, and I’ve taken a few highlights from the recent CFUW Club Action Newsletter to share here. You are welcome to join in. And to register and receive the CFUW Newsletter, you can register here.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is coming up, from November 25 to December 10. CFUW will be releasing a 16 Days of Activism Information Package on November 3, which will include facts, resources, and ways to take action against gender-based violence. In the lead-up to the campaign, CFUW would love to hear about the possible events and actions that Clubs have planned to commemorate the 16 Days, including National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6.

Of special note – an event on Gender-Based Violence that is being presented by the Canadian Women’s Foundation on November 16 at 6:00 CST. Speakers will discuss how we can change a culture that doesn’t have a good record of supporting abuse survivors or even of talking about the abuse, women, girls, and two-spirit, trans, and non-binary people face. You can register to attend online for free here.

CFUW Report for October 2023

CFUW has a new brand, a new look and a new logo! How do you like it?

The project started back in the spring of 2022. We actually held a “conversation circle” last year at the Club, and provided input: basically that we thought it was best to keep the cfuw name, as it is recognized, but not feature the “university”.

So – the logo represents an opening book – seen to be the foundation in learning and education. It is open and expanding. CFUW has a long history, with many achievements, and a diversity of members – so a mosaic, a lotus flower. The flame, the bright orange in the centre, represents the lamp of learning, lighting the way – upward and forward. The unfolding pages, the long history, with many achievements, and the colours, the diversity of members.

The tag line – Realizing potential – is both to understand and make real – a state of mind, to become fully aware – a process which speaks to the foundations of lifelong learning. Potential is the outcome of our work – the vision to what becomes a reality – seeing the potential and bringing it to life. So, as an organization and member community, you see a potential goal, come together to find a solution, and bring it to life for the betterment of all.

The tag line – For all women – is a statement with powerful duality that defines the organization, members, and purpose. CFUW is “for all women” to join and participate, with the core focus being women’s empowerment, education, representation, equality and human rights.

I think the change is positive and I think National Office is to be congratulated for launching the new brand. As I participated in the training session, it was good to see the numbers (there were over 100 on the zoom call – and this was the 2nd session!) and the positive response. Hopefully, the new look will generate new members, and enthusiasm, plus reinforcement for all the good work done by members in the past.

Interested in finding out more about what CFUW members are up to? Subscribe to the CFUW Action Newsletter! It comes out weekly and includes a wonderful listing of programs and activities that Clubs and CFUW Committees are offering – some of which you can join.

CFUW Report for August 2023

Hope everyone is having a healthy and restful summer!

It has been announced that Paige Inglis (who was the National Advocacy Coordinator) is leaving CFUW for a position with the Federal Government (Environment and Climate Change Canada). She was always available, and provided excellent knowledge and information on many advocacy issues. Thank you Paige.

There will be a special post AGM newsletter coming soon, and I will get highlights out to you then.

You can register for the CFUW Action Newsletter to hear timely announcements about CFUW’s work here.

Enjoy summer!

May 2023

Greetings from Hawaii! Just as a reminder, the CFUW resolutions are being reviewed by Issues and Actions and you can view them here. Deadline for amendments is the end of April.

Join Sandy Millen and I on Wednesday, May 17th, at 10:30 am for coffee and conversation about our recent attendance at the United Nations in New York. The meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women were held in March on the topic of “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls” and we look forward to sharing our experiences with all of you!

And remember you can sign up for the CFUW Action Newsletter here. It’s full of news and actions taken by CFUW and the over 90 Clubs across Canada. Mary S

April 2023

It was very special to be able to attend the first week of meetings of the 67th Meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations, in New York, from March 6 to the 11th. Although not part of the CFUW delegation, I was graciously included with CFUW activities. Sandy Millen and I were room mates, and as our earlier email explained, we had a very busy week! The above photos are from the UN, with CFUW President, Joy Hurst. There will be an opportunity for all UWCW members to learn a bit more about our experiences at the UN, probably late April or May, and I hope you can attend. CFUW put on a very impressive and well attended Parallel Event on the topic “Evening the Odds in Digital Education for Marginalized Women and Girls”. The CFUW Resolutions were distributed March 1, and include the following titles. The amendments must be received by April 24. The Issues and Actions committee will take on the task of reviewing the CFUW Resolutions and make recommendations for support and/or amendments, so if interested in learning more, please contact Shelagh Marchenski, at 204-885-7095, or e-mail

  • Immigration Detention in Canada A comprehensive maternal death prevention strategy
  • Fair Treatment for Canadians Suffering from Chronic Lyme Disease and other Tick-borne Diseases
  • The Impact of International Trade Agreements

Finally, CFUW has circulated a Request for Proposals: International Service Project. Each year, CFUW clubs raise funds for an international project or program to empower women and girls in the global South. CFUW is currently seeking proposals from the international development community for the next cycle of fundraising. Read the full Request for Proposals here. The Application is now open – Apply here. Note deadline is April 3rd.

March 2023

CFUW is active in so many ways – it is a challenge to share with UWCW members all that is going on. But of note, here are a few items:

A special thank you from the Canadian Women 4 Women in Afghanistan: CW4WAfghan would like to thank the Canadian Federation of University Women for making our DD Library (Digital/Remote) their National Service Project for 2022/23. This initiative has raised approximately $12,000 for our DD Library! We are honored and thankful for your ongoing support and collaboration in enabling the human right to education for Afghan women, girls, and their families.

International Women’s Day is coming up, and CFUW reminds of the many activities across the country, and resources available. (Note UWCW’s event March 10th). The CFUW Meet and Greet (February 16) was definitely a positive event – 12 of us shared the time (along with soup and sandwich). There were over 102 on the call, with President Joy Hurst chairing the meeting, and I thought she did a superb job. The technical aspects of the call were well handled. Jaime Beagan (New Ex. Dir.) and Elizabeth Malcolm (New Membership Services) and Paige Inglis (Advocacy) were introduced and spoke a bit about their background. Jaimie Beagan is working on grant applications and the budget. On the CFUW board there is a Young Director, from the Girls on Board program. The VPs all spoke, and it was noted UWCW does not have a VP (we are the only Manitoba club). There are 95 clubs across Canada and 2 virtual clubs. 56 have opted out of IFUW/GWI and 41 have opted in. clubs range from 3 to 419 in membership. Across Canada, clubs raise over 1 million dollars annually, for scholarships, which is pretty impressive. You can watch a recording of the event here with Passcode: F9TJ5Ck#. A useful power point presentation is available here.

CFUW Resolutions will be distributed to the clubs by March 10 and any amendments must be received by April 24th. CFUW is on Parliament Hill with several Ontario clubs coming together to present a petition regarding CFUW Resolution on Strengthening Bail Laws to Protect Victims of IPV. You can see the presentation here. We congratulate Shelagh Marchenski and the Issues and Actions Committee drawing attention to this issue with the Province of Manitoba. CFUW is playing an active role in the upcoming meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women, at the United Nations from March 6 to March 17. Sandy Millen and I will invite you all to a Conversation Circle later in the spring to tell you about our experience in New York.

February 2023

There have been a few staffing changes with the CFUW office, including Jaime Beagan joining CFUW as Executive Director on Feb 6, 2023. She is currently the Director of Programs & Services, Student Association of MacEwan University (SAMU) in Edmonton, Alberta. Elizabeth Malcolm has joined as the new Member Engagement Coordinator and Paige Inglis continues as the National Advocacy Coordinator. We welcome these appointments, and look forward to working together on common issues.

Pertinent to these appointments, I do see that CFUW intends to have a “meet and greet” on February 16 – time to be determined. It will be an opportunity to meet the national office team and talk with the national board as well. We are thinking if it’s at a convenient time, we might set something up at the Club, so do watch the UWCW announcements.

Do you have an interest or story to share re long term care? Here is something to consider: Collecting stories of Long Term Care (LTC) across the country. The Long Term Care and Older Persons’ Rights Study Group would like to hear your stories and experiences with Long Term Care (LTC). By collecting stories from across the country, we hope to create a national picture of LTC in Canada. Submit your story HERE.

Interested in receiving regular newsletters from CFUW? You can register HERE.

January 2023

On November 24th, twenty-five CFUW Members from across Canada met to discuss the roiling state of the Health Care System in Canada and decided to form a National Study Group. This group will look at staff and infrastructure related to Urgent care, primary care, neonatal care, pediatric care, surgical care, specialist care (OBGYN, midwives, neurological, renal, cardiac, cancer, etc), intensive care, palliative care, mental health care and addiction services They talked about the patterns we see in the Health Care system, both the similarities across provinces and the differences between provinces. They talked about the complexity of the system and what factors contributed to that complexity and shared related CFUW policies.There is more, much more to talk about – and do.

There is an opportunity for any member of UWCW to join the group! A small group will meet in early January to plan the path ahead. The VP Education, Kathy Wosnick and the VP Advocacy, Heather Oxman will participate in that discussion so if YOU wish to be part of that discussion, please notify either of them prior to January 5, 2023.

CFUW issued a press release on December 6th, and it can be viewed here: Notably, the serial killings of Indigenous women in Winnipeg were included. Also noted: “In Canada, we are seeing a 26% increase in the killings of women and girls from 2019 to 2021, where the number of women and girls killed in Canada has reached 162 in 2022” (Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability). By the way, you can read the summary report, and view photos and videos from the December 6th event “Violence Against Women: The Myths that Silence Them” held at Ralph Connor House, here :

CFUW is also gearing up for meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women, at the United Nations in New York. Anyone interested must apply by January 3rd. You can apply and see background here:

December 2022

Many of you were aware of possible changes to the name of CFUW, Canadian Federation of University Women, and participated in a conversation circle to share what you thought of the proposed idea. You will be interested to know the CFUW Board has made a decision on changes. On November 1, 2022 the Board unanimously accepted the recommendation of the Special Committee on Visual Identity and Renaming and voted to move to the use of the acronym CFUW in public and internal communications. The Board also accepted the Special Committee’s recommendation regarding rebranding and voted to move forward with a branding refresh which will include a new tagline that describes our work, logo and suite of key messages. Branding is important but at the Club level, membership will only grow if prospective members experience CFUW clubs as welcoming to all women who share our Vision, Mission, and Values. In many ways, CFUW is following the footsteps of UWCW!

CFUW has published an excellent collection of information and advocacy ideas to be used to promote the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign. Many of you are familiar with the campaign, and the special days that are particularly highlighted. These include:

· November 25, the International Day to End Violence Against Women

· November 29th, the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day

· December 1, World Aids Day

· December 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities

· December 6, National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

· December 10, International Human Rights Day

You can review the CFUW package here. We are fortunate to have the assistance of Ali Howard who will coordinate our virtual campaign. Watch for it on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtags #16Days and #EndGBV.

And on December 6, (National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women), there will be an opportunity for you to attend a special program at the Club. Issues and Actions and CFUW will be hosting Dr. Jane Ursel, who has done considerable research in the area of domestic violence, will be speaking on “Violence against Women: The Myths that Silence Them”. We will start at 11, and a sandwich lunch will follow for $10.00. Guests are welcome, but you must register with the Club by noon Friday, December 2nd. Hope to see you there!

November 2022

We all can appreciate the work of the Scholarship Committee here at the UWCW. A tremendous resource that has offered financial support to many women furthering their education here in Manitoba. The CFUW Charitable Trust is also far reaching and provides significant financial support for 13 graduate degree students. Awards are valued between $5,000 to $11,000. There is an application process – and now is the time to encourage Manitoba students to apply. The application is on-line at There is no longer a fee to apply, and all candidates are informed on their status once the selections have been made.

Did you know CFUW has ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) status at the United Nations? This gives CFUW an ability to work with others to influence possible actions of the UN and its member countries, particularly with respect to women’s rights. In preparation for the upcoming meetings at the United Nations of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2023, CFUW has prepared a statement on the theme of this year’s CSW “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.” The statement calls for recognition of the gender digital divide for women and girls ends with seven clearly stated recommendation. The statement is not posted online yet, but we will be sure to share a link once it is!

October 2022

Joy Hurst, from Edmonton, is now the CFUW President, and it is interesting to note there are 10 different Canadian cities/communities represented on the CFUW Board. Definitely a national organization!

One of the many positive features of CFUW is the Charitable Trust similar, but larger than our Scholarship Trust Fund. It is chaired by Doris Mae Oulton, UWC member and past president of both CFUW, and UWC. The AGM of the Charitable Trust is going to be October 22, 10:30 am, CST. The Annual Report is here. There will be an interesting speaker, an award winner, Casey Oliver. Casey’s background is psychology, and she will be speaking at approximately 12:30 CST, on Sexual Violence. Here is a bit more about the topic: “Casey’s dissertation focuses on sexual violence that is perpetrated through technology against women. She seeks to better understand whether this type of gender-based violence effects both the mental well-being of women and their use of technology. This could have grave implications for their academic and career participation, especially with the increasingly virtual nature of these settings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In-turn, this research could inform prevention and response strategies, including platform and government policies.” Another point of interest re the CFUW Charitable Trust is a young woman from U of M has received the Indigenous Women’s Award – Arielle Bienick MD.

Interested in receiving regular newsletters from CFUW? Register HERE.

Canadian delegates CFUW

Canadian delegates to the 1921 Paris Conference of the International Federation of University Women. Margaret McWilliams is seated at centre.