Amsterdam 20th of August 2017
Dear Presidents and CER’s ,
I am so happy to announce the conference in Graz is fully overbooked. The VAO – the University Women of Austria and especially Graz have done a marvelous job. It will be a great conference in a wonderful city and I am looking forward to meeting 120 women from all over Europe. We can all celebrate the 95th Anniversary of VAO! Congratulations!
We will post news during the conference on Facebook and of course there will be a report on our website. We hope also to get your reports even when your not able to come. They serve as inspiration to us all.
Not only the influx of migrants in Europe is changing our cultures. Which is the theme of the conference. In some countries accomplishments of our mothers and grandmothers are in danger of being overruled by governments. Another issue is that the crisis has hit women more so then men, as women in most countries had smaller jobs, had lower paid jobs and were on short contracts. Furthermore the changes in pension dates in many European countries have thrown thousands of women in the arms of poverty as they don’t have enough savings to cover the pension gap. And last but not least, the violence against women is rising while still lots of governments have not ratified the Istanbul Convention. There is still lots of work to do. To stand united I would like to draw your attention to two very important proposals at the AGM in Graz.
Support the Collective Complaint for Equal Pay
The UWE has great news. As you know we have a collective complaint in fifteen countries against the social charter on the subject of Equal Pay. (https://uweboard.wordpress.com/collectivecomplaint- equal-pay-for-equal-work/) We can compliment Anne Negre, our representative at the INGO conference of the Council of Europe for her work as the complaints are admissable. It means we will get answers of the governments as to why the feel they don’t need to take measures of adapt their policies to make sure women and men are paid equally in their countries. We will receive those by September. It means by the end of October our answers will have to be ready. So the UWE proposes to organize a meeting of three days in Amsterdam for the experts and lawyers of each country involved. It will be around half October. Please look around you for experts on Equal pay and some excellent writers. The proposal at the AGM will be to host the meeting including a lunch and dinner. So the associations or individual members will have to pay their own trip and accomodation.
Support the changes in the constitution The UWE stands for an important decision. To stand united in Europe or face losing our representation in Europe. For this reason we have proposed some changes in the constitution allowing non GWI members to be members of UWE. This is in line with the changes GWI has done and will help to keep associations like Finland, Germany, Romania, Lithuania etc on board. Please support this. If there are issues you wish to raise on the matter please let us know in advance so we can prepare answers or propose changes so we can decide this AGM. So in short, please support our proposal. Send us your additional comments or questions in advance. When your not able to come you can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org your decision and we will vote by proxy.
For the board, Edith Lommerse, President UWE