24 January International Day of Education

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Education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility.

In 2018 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, to honor education and its centrality to human well-being and sustainable development.

Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.

Today, 258 million children and youth still do not attend school; 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school. Their right to education is being violated and it is unacceptable.

Celebration of International Education Day at UNESCO

In partnership with the CRI (Centre for Research and Interdisciplinary), UNESCO headquarters organizes on 24 January 2020 a public event in line with the 2020 theme, learning for people, planet, prosperity and peace, this Paris celebration will feature talks and discussions with education leaders from around the world, including youth leaders.

Follow the event live,tarting at 2 p.m. (Paris time)

More information about the programme and event here: Celebration of International Day of Education at UNESCO

Celebration of International Education Day at UN

A celebration event is organized by the Office of the President of the General Assembly in collaboration with UNESCO and other Permanent Missions of member states. The event will bring together the voices of governments, the UN system, civil society, private sector and youth organizations to straighten collective action for education, warning that the world is not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Under the title “Aligning Inclusive Quality Education Policies with Sustainable Development Goals” the event will call for further commitments to advance the progress towards SDG 4 by leveraging multilateral action to ensure that ecveryone has access to quality education.

More information about the programme and event here:  Celebration of International Day of Education at UN

Celebration of International Education Day by GWI

With over 100 years of experience in advocating for safe access to quality, lifelong education for all women and girls worldwide, Graduate Women International (GWI) recalls its achievements in the field of education such as: numerous policy resolutions concerning the right to education, several Bina Roy Partners in Development programmes strive for educating women in various areas, the five girls supported by the Teachers for Rural Futures project graduated this January, and grants and fellowships awarded each year to support women in accessing education. Collected interviews from its many members around the world in a mosaic video will be published on 24 January on GWI’s website and social media channels.. The participants were asked to answer one of the following questions: What is the role of education today? What more can be done to improve education for women and girls in your country? Why are you a member of GWI?Also, have a look at the Facts & Figures Infographic published.

Sudha Srivastava from British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) shared with us her Education Acrostic specially created for Day of Education. Well done, Sudha!

Let’s celebrate the achievements of education together!


Season’s Greetings from University Women of Europe

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Dear friends,

we’ve had a memorable year 2019 celebrating 100 years of Graduated Women International in Geneva, thank you for being with us!

May you enjoy all the happiness that the season can bring!
We wish you a successful New Year filled with peace, love, laughter and hope!

Conference on Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing and Natural Sciences/Trieste, 4-8 November 2019

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Thanks to our Treasurer Annelies Pierrot – Bults, who attended  the final meeting of a collaborative project (2017-2019), funded by the International Science Council of eleven major scientific international unions and organizations, to discuss findings, and formulate conclusions and recommendations, we can share with you her report.

Reducing the gender gap is a major challenge for the whole scientific community, in developed as well as developing countries, and concerns everyone, men and women.

The project has concentrated its efforts on three main tasks: the Joint Global Survey with 30,000 respondents (male and female) in more than 130 countries using 8 languages, the Joint Study on Publication Patterns analyzing comprehensive metadata sources of publications of more than 500,000 scientists since 1970, a Database of Good Practices for girls and young women, parents, and organizations.

Some hundred women and a few men participated in the conference, mainly from physics, astrophysics, mathematics, and statistics with a few chemists and biologists and historians.


– Report on the findings and achievements of the three tasks of the project, globally, by scientific discipline (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, History of Science, Mathematics, Applied mathematics, and Physics), and by geographical zone (Africa, Caribbean and Central America, South America, Northern America, Central and Southern Asia, Eastern and South-eastern Asia, Western Asia, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe, and Oceania)

– Discuss and evaluate the results of the project.

– Formulate recommendations and discuss new initiatives.

Some examples of the survey:

Significant differences about lower pay for women is reported for Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer sciences, Mathematics and applied mathematics and Physics.

Sexual harassment was reported for all disciplines by 21-39% of the women and 2-5% by men. Also in all disciplines feelings about gender discrimination were reported by 45-60% of women and 4-7% of men.

Becoming a parent slowed down career opportunities in 28-37% of women and 8-13% of men

Publication patterns in chemistry showed and increase of female authors of about 5 to 20% between 1970 and 2010.

A few recommendations on associations, institutional and personal levels

-work collectively to change culture and norms to reduce the gaps

-address the disproportionate impact of parenthood on the careers of women through improved support systems for parents

-take the steps to assess pay equity and encourage policies to help reduce salary disparities

-encourage the diversification of scientific awards, actively encourage to nominate women

-address potential bias in the editorial and peer-review processes, which would strongly benefit from more transparency on the part of academic publishers

-avoid gender stereotyping and unconscious gender bias in interactions with female students and children

The final report will be published early next year on the website of  the International Science Council

Also you can find information and a toolkit on women in science – SAGA (the STEM and Gender Advancement project) on the website of UNESCO.

Salon de livres de femmes

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On 23 th November, French Association of University Women – AFFDU organized the 12th edition of Women’s book fair in Paris. Unique in France, this special event is dedicated to women authors of essays, it is meant to highlight the diversity of women’s talents by gathering authors from all disciplines: historians, journalists, scientists, philosophers, sociologists.

This edition was a tribute to Nicole Bécarud who organized the first edition of Women’s book fair, reflecting on the possibilities to offer the french people a way to recognize their scientific work excluding novels and poetry, since, in the minds of the public, women seemed to be mostly confined in this category of literary creation.

Doctor in chemistry (she attended the School of Chemistry of Paris) it seems to her quite natural to promote the scientific literature of philosophers, children, women, geographers, linguists, clinicians, chemists, physicists and all others researchers because of her job – (Head of Scientific and Technical Service of National Association of Industries Food) she earned her accession to Rank of Knight of the Legion of Honor in March 1985, then in 2001, in the name of Women’s Rights Secretariat (as President of AFFDU) and Ministries responsible for small and medium-sized enterprises and vocational training and obtained the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor.

Since its creation, AFFDU promotes gender equality being engaged in many domains: equality, education, women empowerment.

In 1994, she launched the project, and all essay writers who have published in 94 and then in 95, came to expose their works and dedicate them. As member of the “Club de la Mer” whose seat was a barge moored at the foot of the Eiffel Tower on the Seine, she opened this first book fair in a houseboat. The success was immediate: the pool of authors of the AFFDU was vast, and above all, the idea of dedicating a book fair to women essays writers had a huge impact.

The barge proved to be too limited in places and Nicole had to look for a new place to host the event.

Thanks to its efforts, the City Hall of Sixth district of Paris was strongly interested in this very original event and offered his Hall of Festivals. Nicole Bécarud had therefore fully succeeded the mission she received from her association: make known the opportunities for French women to show their scientific qualities.

QUIZ on sexism – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

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To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Gender Equality Division of the Council of Europe has just produced a QUIZ which highlights some misconceptions people may have about everyday sexism.

The QUIZ is part of a series of activities of Sexism: See it. Name it. Stop it., a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the Recommendation on preventing and combating sexism. In order to make sexist behaviour visible and to prevent it, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a this recommendation in March 2019, which contains the first ever internationally agreed definition of sexism. It spells out how it manifests, the harm it causes, and what can be done to combat it.

Sexism is everywhere: in classrooms and in offices, on football pitches and magazine covers. But it is sometimes hard to pinpoint what it does, exactly, and we often tend to minimise sexist acts as harmless or not so important. However, all the incidents of sexism that accumulate over days and years create a climate that makes violence and discrimination – mostly against women – possible.

So take the QUIZ and then have a look at the information video and the action page, to found out how the Council of Europe is taking a stand against sexism in our everyday lives.

Sexism: if you see it, you should name it and try to stop it!

Recommendation on equality between women and men adopted by the Conference of INGOs

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The recommendation on equality between women and men has been adopted by the Conference of INGOs on 30 October 2019.

This recommendation was proposed by Anne Nègre , President of University Women of Europe and Vice-President in charge of Equality with the participation of:  Association of Women of Southern Europe (AFEM), University Women of Europe (UWE), and support by: European Centre of the International Council of Women (ECICW), European Network church on the Move (EN/RE), European Union of Women (EUW), Intereuropean Commission on Church and School (ICCS), International Alliance of Women (IAW), Soroptimist International Europe (SIE), Zonta International (ZI), European Buddhist Union (EBU), ANDANTE Europa, European Action of the Disabled, (AEH), Conference of European Churches (CEC).


Here you can read the entire text of the recommendation on equality between women and men. The Conference of INGOs  calls on Members States to respect and defend this essential Human Rights assets. 
english version or french version

Another concern is the drift of artificial intelligence, with its gender bias, that is uncontrolled, reproducing by increasing inequalities between women and men, the sexist abuses probably linked to the lack of women in science.

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the decision-making processes, it has become part of our daily life, changing our rights. Research had shown that currently AI is not gender neutral, so today gender equality is not done in algorithms. Also, only about 15% of programmers are female and this makes for a salary difference between women and men. AI reproduces the exclusion of vulnerable people, not only women.

See here the intervention of Anne Nègre during the plenary session of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe.



Call for Delegates to the 64th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64) in New York, 9 to 20 March 2020

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The 64th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 9 to 20 March 2020. The CSW64 promises to be a historic event as women from around the world will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995).

The main focus of CSW64 will be on the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly. The review will include an assessment of current challenges that affect the implementation of the Platform for Action and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and its contribution towards the full realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Graduated Women Internation – GWI is launching a call to the attention of GWI Leaders, NFA Presidents and CIRs, and NFA Members who are interested in participating to propose their candidacy – deadlline Thursday, 31 October 2019.

Accreditation for CSW64 is strictly limited. Individual delegates will be chosen by the GWI Board of Officers based on the following criteria:

  • Each candidate is required to have the full endorsement of their NFA President or CIR for consideration be given. The CSW64 Candidate Endorsement Form signed by the President or CIR must accompany the Delegate application

  • Either current or recent professional or volunteer work experience related to aspects of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action OR strong experience with the United Nations advocacy/lobbying process is a plus.

  • Strong knowledge of GWI mission and vision and willingness to network on behalf of GWI.

  • Preparedness to attend daily sessions and prepare short reports for GWI advocacy purposes.

Readiness to participate in GWI briefings during CSW64.

Please note: Applicants can only be considered if their 2019 NFA dues have been paid in full.

Some delegate spaces will be reserved for members of NFAs presenting CSW64 side or parallel events and/or for GWI visiting panel experts. Priority will be given to members who are willing to attend for at least five days and who indicate the highest level of motivation to participate on behalf of GWI.

Members who are interested in participating as part of GWI’s delegation must submit an official delegate CSW64 Application Form and CSW64 Candidate Endorsement Form. Both forms must be emailed to the GWI Office to info@graduatewomen.org no later than 31 October 2019 at midnight Central European Time (CET). This deadline will be strictly enforced as some selected candidates will need adequate time to complete the United States of America visa application process.

****Please include in the subject line of your email: GWI CWS64 Delegate Application****

Regretfully, GWI cannot fund delegate travel, accommodation, subsistence or other costs.