Invitation to the UWE Conference 2017 in Graz, Austria 24-27 August

Posted on Updated on


We are pleased to invite you to the next Annual General Meeting of the University Women of Europe in Graz. As usual, the AGM will be combined with a two-day conference. This year, the conference theme is: “Changing Cultures”. The large number of refugees from Islamic countries present a challenge for Europe and are sometimes perceived as a threat to women. Our focus will be on the issues and chances arising from the current situation of refugees in Europe.

What does this process of migration mean for the women fleeing their home countries, but also, what does it mean for the women in the countries accepting refugees? How does the social climate change? How do the traditional and arriving cultures interact with each other? What impact does all this have on women?

We will try to find ideas on how to deal with encountering different cultures and different values, while also being concerned with equal rights and respect for women. In addition to this, we will investigate possible ways in which refugee women can become part of the European society. 

We are looking forward to meeting you, exchanging ideas and continuing to be engaged in the work towards an improvement of women’s lives in Europe and all over the world.

The conference is open to all members of the University Women of Europe and their friends.


The Austrian Federation of University Women (VAÖ) is happy to host the UWE Annual General Meeting 2017 in Graz. The city of Graz is located in southern Austria and is known for its Mediterranean atmosphere and relaxed life style. With about 300.000 inhabitants and over 50.000 students, it is a very lively city with lots of interesting things to do and to see. The conference will take place in the city’s historic center, a UNESCO world cultural heritage. You will find magnificent Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture as well as romantic inner courtyards and hidden alleys all over the city. There are numerous museums, churches, theaters and an opera house, countless cafés and restaurants.


Graz can be reached easily by various means of transport: The city has an international airport with several daily flights to Vienna and many other large European transport hubs. If you fly to Vienna, you can take a direct bus (from the airport or the city center) to the center of Graz ( or use the national railway service ( Within the city, the public transport system is well-structured with trams and busses – a three day ticket can be purchased online for 12 € prior to your arrival (


  • Thursday 24 August: Arrival and registration, welcome reception.
  • Friday, 25 August: Welcome notes, keynote speeches and workshops followed by a country evening with traditional Austrian music and food. On this evening we will also celebrate the 95th anniversary of the VAÖ.
  • Saturday 26 August: UWE Annual General Meeting; Gala Dinner in the evening.

A detailed schedule of the conference programme will be available on the UWE website.


We welcome proposals for workshops on the conference theme. If you are interested in leading a workshop, please send us a proposal consisting of a ten-line summary (max. 300 words) about the workshop. Workshops should take no longer than 60 minutes, including a presentation of approximately 20 minutes. Please submit your proposal no later than 30 April 2017 to


The Franciscan monastery in the city center of Graz will serve as our conference location. It is a historic site with beautiful architecture and a long, interesting history. The buildings were recently renovated and were turned into a modern conference center. 

7 8


23 August 2017 (pre-conference tour):

Tour 1 – An afternoon in Vienna

An afternoon in Vienna with a guided city tour through the city’s historic centre. This tour is ideal for participants arriving in Vienna and wishing to explore Austria’s capital before travelling on to Graz. (Approx. 20 €) You can either spend the night in Vienna or go to Graz by train or bus the same evening.

28 August (post-conference tours):

Tour 2 – Graz city tour

Guided city walking tour of Graz, showing beautiful hidden treasures and historical highlights of the city. Duration: approximately 2 hours. (11 €)

Tour 3 – Western Styria

A bus tour to the western part of Styria, visiting the Lipizzaner stud (the white Lipizzaner horses bred there perform in the renowned Spanish Riding School in Vienna) and a church designed by the celebrated Austrian artist F. Hundertwasser. Lunch will be provided. Duration: approximately 6 hours. (Approx. 70 €)

Tour 4 – Wine Country

A bus tour of the wine country in the southern part of Styria, often referred to as “Austrian Tuscany”. This tour includes a traditional Styrian lunch (“Brettljause”) at a typical local restaurant and a wine tasting. Duration: approximately 6 hours. (Approx. 70 €)


Hotel Weitzer:, just across the bridge (200 m) from the conference location.

Double/single room: 80 € per night (+15 € for optional breakfast)


Hotel Daniel:, next to the main train station, 10 minutes by tram from the conference location.

Double/single room: 69 € per night (+ 15€ for optional breakfast)


When making a reservation in one of the hotels, please use the following code:

UWE Conference 2017

For people who need barrier-free access, there are some single rooms (35 € per person, no breakfast) available in the monastery/conference location. There will also be a limited number of single rooms available in the VAÖ dorm (20 € per person, incl. light breakfast), located approximately 20 minutes from the city centre by tram. If you are interested in staying at one of these two accommodations, please write to as soon as possible.


The conference fee includes conference registration and documents, all lunches, coffee/tea and the Austrian evening (95th Anniversary of VAÖ). Registration deadline: June 30.



FRIDAY 25 August

SATURDAY 26 August


Early bird fee

30 April 2017

185 €

Regular fee

30 June 2017

210 €

150 €

100 €

Young member fee

30 June 2017

170 €

Gala dinner

45 €


Early bird fee

30 April 2017

210 €

Regular fee

30 June 2017

240 €

Gala dinner

55 €

Click here to register online your participation!

Please pay your fees to the following Austrian bank account:

Verband der Akademikerinnen Österreichs
IBAN: AT41 2081 5020 0010 1374

For any additional inquiries about the conference, please contact VAÖ: and use the subject line: UWE CONFERENCE 2017



Take action on social media for 1 Billion Rising

Posted on

banner_-_for_members_messages_2-6c550On Tuesday 14 February, University Women of Europe together with the European Women Lobby (EWL) and other members from all over Europe will be rising to say no to the sexual exploitation of women and girls !

The 5th edition of One Billion Rising will be an opportunity to express our demands to see a world free from sexual exploitation and prostitution, from male violence and oppression. We will rise everywhere, through different actions: dance, demonstration, events… The EWL will launch a social media action, with strong messages on home-made visuals!! A way to celebrate women’s creativity, strength solidarity and togetherness!

EWL social media messages are based on visuals created by EWL staff members during an artistic workshop held in Brussels. Please download them below and share them on facebook on Tuesday 14 February, using the hashtags #1BillionRising, #RiseInSolidarity, #EndDemand, #ListenToSurvivors, #Youth4Abolition, #StopSexualExploitation.

Please share them with your members, so that they can use them too. Some are in French too, regardez bien! You have a lot of choice, between different messages, colours, visuals, creativity!

Please let us know what you plan to do for One Billion Rising: send us some photos, some webpages links, some description. We need to inform V-Day of the European mobilization, and show how we take action to end the sexual exploitation of women & girls!

Download and use the following visuals!

As you can see, some have free space for you to add your messages and/or logo.
Some have the logo of the Brussels’ Call, the European coalition campaigning for the Nordic Model on prostitution. So use the visuals according to what best suits you, whether or not you are a member of the Brussels’ Call and/or Youth4Abolition, whether you prefer to create your own messages. Some are in French too!

PNG - 759.1 kb
PNG - 578.8 kb
PNG - 746.6 kb
PNG - 752 kb
PNG - 757.6 kb
PNG - 747.6 kb
PNG - 752.6 kb
PNG - 736.7 kb
PNG - 601.6 kb
PNG - 415.1 kb
PNG - 395.1 kb
PNG - 435.3 kb
PNG - 402.8 kb
PNG - 430.1 kb
PNG - 603.5 kb
PNG - 617.2 kb
PNG - 747 kb
PNG - 616.5 kb
PNG - 617 kb
PNG - 737.3 kb
PNG - 592.6 kb
PNG - 753.4 kb
PNG - 623.3 kb
PNG - 615.7 kb
PNG - 622.6 kb

Joint statement European Commission,Parliament and Council Presidency calling for ratification and implementation of Istanbul Convention

Posted on

A message from the European Women’s Lobby. Focusing on the need to combat violence against women. One of the action themes of UWE.

Dear all,

Last Friday 3/02 , on the occasion of the Conference in Malta on EU responses to gender based violence, the three European Institutions (European Commission, Parliament and Council Presidency) signed a Joint Statement calling the Member States to:

  1. “To ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) for those Member States not having done so yet;

    2. To fully and effectively implement the Istanbul Convention;

    3. To conclude and finalise the decision on the EU accession to the Convention with a meaningful scope; and

    4. To engage in a constructive and open dialogue with the Presidency, the Commission and the Council of Europe to clarify that the definition of gender-based violence is the violence that happens to women because they are women and to reaffirm the ongoing commitment to solve the outstanding issues.

    5. The three European institutions also commit themselves to zero tolerance to violence against women and girls.

2016 Board Diversity Census of Women & Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards

Posted on

One of the aims of UWE is to enhance the position of women and support measures to increase the number of women in decision making positions. Although many efforts have been made by women in Europe and in the rest of the world, despite modest gains, women and minorities see little change in representation on Fortune 500 boards.

Currently, 65 percent of Fortune 100 boards have greater than 30 percent board diversity, compared to the Fortune 500 where that percentage drops to just under 50 percent of companies. This 2016 report od Deloitte  highlights the progress to date that has been made for women and minorities on corporate boards. While there have been some gains, they have been negligible at best, and certainly not representative of the broad demographic changes we have seen in the United States in the same period of time. Reviewing the data provides insight into board diversity changes from 2012–2016 across the Fortune 500. A few specific summary items to note:

  • Some progress has been made for African Americans/Blacks in securing/holding Fortune 500 board seats. The bulk of the African American male increases occurred within the Fortune 100. There has been an increase in the Fortune 500 of African American/Black women board members by 18.4 percent since 2012, while the total number of African American male board members in the Fortune 500 had only an increase of 1 percent.
  • The percentage of Caucasian/White women currently holding Fortune 500 board seats has increased by 21.2 percent since 2012, and the number of Caucasian/White men has decreased by 6.4 percent.
  • Asian/Pacific Islanders have shown continued growth. However, their starting baseline was small—thus their overall representation is still roughly three percent of all board seats, representing a total of 167 seats, with an additional increase (46.7 percent) in Asian/Pacific Islander women.
  • African Americans/Blacks appear to have the highest rate of individuals serving on multiple boards—indicating that companies are going to the same individuals rather than expanding the pool of African American candidates for board membership.
  • Nominal gains have been accomplished for Hispanic/Latino men, while we saw a loss of two Fortune 500 board seats for Hispanic/Latino women since 2012.
  • Direct Link to Full 29-Page 2016 Report: 

Jans Gremmée award 2016

Posted on

Here Dr Elizabeth Poskitt OBE, MA, MB, BChir (Cantab) FRCP, FRCPCH is shown receiving her medal from UWE President Dr Edith Lommerse.
Jans Gremmée Award Winner 2016 was announced at UWE AGM and Conference on’Aspiration, Achievement, Advancement‘ held in Winchester, Hampshire, UK.  
Eighty  members and guests met the day after Brexit but a positive atmosphere prevailed!
The Medal commemorates the founding President of UWE in 1981, Jans Gremmée, who was active in Europe on behalf of all women. The criteria for the award include activities of benefit to women in Europe.
The citation presented by Jenny Morley follows: Dr Elizabeth Poskitt is serving a second term as Mayor of Woodstock, Oxfordshire and is a District Councillor. She was responsible for setting up a ‘Good Neighbour’ scheme for befriending and transporting the elderly or disabled and also for co-authoring and editing ‘Woodstock and the Royal Park’ in 2011 to mark the 900 th anniversary of the founding of the town. She is well known to all British Federation Members as Chair of the BFWG Scholarship Fund which gives awards on the grounds of academic excellence to third year doctoral women candidates at British Universities but irrespective of their country of origin.
Many women from mainland Europe have gained these awards!
In 2001 when she was a Vice President of BFWG Elizabeth also founded an annual Research Presentations Day where women in the final year of their Doctorate may gain experience presenting their research to an educated but non-specialist audience of BFWG Members and friends. Again we have welcomed many women from Europe.
Elizabeth first joined the Ugandan Association of University Women in 1968 whilst working in Kampala. Later back in the UK teaching at Birmingham then Liverpool Universities she took an active role in these BFWG local associations and was present at the founding meeting of UWE.
She was British National President from 2005 to 2008. 
Unusually she had first been President of IFUW (now GWI) from 1995 to 1998 whilst she was still working as a paediatrician and Head of Station at the MRC Dunn Nutrition Field Station in the Gambia. The IFUW Study And Action Programme (SAAP) during these years was ‘The Girl Child’ reflecting her concerns and expertise. Although in Africa she was mainly concerned with malnutrition she is also involved with the current problem of ‘over nutrition’ in children, and is co-founder of the European Childhood Obesity Group, having published a book ‘Management of Childhood Obesity’. Her research interests in nutrition have given rise to over 100 publications.
So although theoretically retired from her academic paediatric work and research we are pleased that Elizabeth is still active on behalf of her local community and the wider community of graduate women.
Edith Lommerse, Elizabeth Poskitt and Jenny Morley @Photo by Aisha Ashawaf, BFWG Vice President

Gender pay gap starts early with 20% disparity in pocket money – study

Posted on

Girls aged five to 16 receive £2.20 less per week than boys and are allowed less financial independence, report shows  Young boys are more likely to be given financial autonomy at an earlier age than girls. According to the latest statistics, the current overall gender pay gap for full-time workers is 13.9%.  The University Women of Europe has filed a collective Complaint about the fact the women are paid less for the same work. Collective Complaint Equal Pay for Equal work

The gender pay gap by which women earn significantly less than men during their careers begins early in childhood with boys receiving 20% more pocket money than girls, according to a report. Not only do girls receive less money, they are allowed less financial independence; they are less likely to receive regular payments than boys, and are more dependent on others to buy items for them and manage their money on their behalf.

Whereas boys aged five to 16 receive an average of £10.70 per week from either pocket money, payment for chores or paid work, girls of the same age receive just £8.50, and the gap widens as the children get older, the findings suggest. According to the report by market research agency Childwise, between the ages of 11 and16 the gap grows to 30%, with boys receiving an average weekly income of £17.80 and girls of the same age lagging behind with £12.50.

Boys get more financial autonomy
The report, which is conducted annually and is based on online surveys with 2,000 schoolchildren, reveals not only the inequality between boys and girls in terms of hard cash, it also indicates the different messages parents give their sons and daughters about money and financial management.“The data points towards an early gender imbalance in the way parents educate their children about money matters and financial independence,” said Childwise’s research manager, Jenny Ehren. “Boys are more likely to be entrusted with regular cash payments, while girls are more reliant on other people buying them items, or managing money on their behalf.

Girls’ pocket money is more likely to be supplemented by parents buying expensive items such as clothes and footwear, as well as much cheaper purchases including toiletries and makeup. “The value of these purchases almost certainly helps to bridge the income gap between boys and girls,” said Ehren, “but the approach to managing finances is noticeably different.