Annual Report of the Irish Federation of University Women

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Founded in 1925, the Irish Federation of University Women (IrFUW) has four associations (Queen’s Women Graduates,  Trinity Women Graduates, Galway University Women Graduates and  University College Dublin Women Graduates), representing Ireland and Northern Ireland, including linked members and candidate graduates.

With current 211 membership, it’s purpose is to bring together University Women in Ireland to uphold the aims of Graduate Women International (GWI) . Key Activities for IrFUW 2019-2020:  Annual Conference hosted in Dublin by Trinity Women Graduates, Public Speaking Competition,Council Meeting, hosted in University College Dublin, we planned UWE Meet & Greet for May 2020 in close collaboration with UWE Board. IrFUW continued close work with UWE regarding Collective Complaint for equality of pay.
Association activities include: social and online events, including online book clubs, discussion panels and talks,  access Programme – bursary to finance student through four-year university degree- bursaries for Postgraduate Masters in Education students, financial support for Aidlink, a charity which supports girls’ schools in East Africa, funding of Study Days for Primary School pupils in University Outreach Science Lab, co-hosting of careers series event with Faculty of Engineering Mathematics and Science and ongoing project to encourage more girls to study engineering.

Our Public Speaking Competition continues to succeed and remain a highlight in the IrFUW calendar. Supporting UWE regarding the Collective Complaint for equality of pay. Planned to host the UWE Meet & Greet in Dublin at UCD. This was organised in close collaboration with the UWE Board. We were excited to welcome friends from other associations. At previous conferences / Friendship Visits the Irish delegation is consistently the largest group (other than the host country) emphasising the close links between IrFUW and the European federations and UWE.

The key challenge of this year has and remains Covid-19. We have reconsidered many planned events and introduced online events. We have also postponed others, most notable being UWE Meet & Greet (May 2020), IrFUW Annual Conference (October 2020). We hope to host the UWE Meet & greet in the future. Other challenges: to make our organisation and individual associations better known in the community, ensure sustainability by encouraging new members, to drive awareness and promote involvement and engagement in issues of national and international concern.

IrFUW Goals 2020-2021 would be to encourage cooperation and friendship through attendance of online initiatives and events, to actively increase membership, to continue and further develop our support for students at all levels in Ireland, to pursue and extend our efforts to promote study of STEM subjects among girls and to continue to promote the press release for the Collective Complaint, increasing media attention.

On behalf of the Irish Federation of University Women:

Leighanne Montgomery/CER

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