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The Recommendation in support of the Istanbul Convetion adopted by the Conference of INGOs

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Conference of INGOs of the CoE
The Recommendation in support of the Istanbul Convention has been adopted by the Conference of INGOs on the October 15, 2020.
The Conference of INGOs participated in the drafting of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, which has been open for signature in Istanbul since 2011. The first signatory was Turkey. All CoE member states have signed it except Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation.
34 states have ratified it and they must continue to do so according to the clear and determined words of the Secretary General of the CoE during the plenary session of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe.
Dr. Anne Bergheim- Negre, UWE President presented her argumentation as Gender Equality Expert, here you are the conclusions of her intervention in support of the Istanbul Convention: 
“Depending on the country, almost similar campaigns appear, but with different objectives: abortion, the referendum against marriage for all, education for equality, contraception, you can put whatever you want in it, migrants, Muslims, LGBT people. Strategies are beginning to emerge to influence national legislative developments in favour of women, to reverse the ratification of the Istanbul Convention 15 or to set in motion oppositions to prevent further ratifications, this legal instrument has become a target.
In this context where very pro-religious, very right-wing regimes have come to power, the States concerned are castigating the Istanbul Convention, the object of their wrath, even though yesterday these same States ratified it.  The Venice Commission explains these points clearly.
It is in this context that we have drafted the Recommendation in support of the Istanbul Convention, because the CoE Conference and its member INGOs support the Council of Europe texts, and the Council of Europe really deserves to be supported.

European Committee of Social Rights finds violations in 14 countries

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http://www.coe.int

The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) has found violations of the right to equal pay and the right to equal opportunities in the workplace in 14 out of 15 countries which apply the European Social Charter’s collective complaints procedureBelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCyprus, the Czech Republic,  Finland,  FranceGreeceIrelandItaly, the NetherlandsNorwayPortugal and Slovenia. Only Sweden was found to be compliant with the Charter.

“The gender pay gap is unacceptable in modern societies, yet it continues to be one of the main obstacles to achieving real equality. European governments must urgently step up efforts to ensure equal opportunities in the workplace. And more countries should use the Council of Europe’s Social Charter as one means of reaching that goal,” said Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Complaints to the ECSR, which monitors the implementation of the Charter, were lodged by the international NGO University Women of Europe (UWE). While the ECSR found that all 15 countries concerned had satisfactory legislation recognising the right to equal pay for equal work, it found various violations – bar Sweden – primarily due to insufficient progress in reducing the gender pay gap, but in some cases also due to lack of pay transparency in the labour market, ineffective legal remedies and the insufficient powers and resources of national gender equality bodies. Moreover, despite quota arrangements and other measures, women also continue to be under-represented in decision-making positions within private companies. The ECSR noted that the gender pay gap had narrowed in some countries, but progress was insufficient.

More information can be found here:

Right to equal pay: European Committee of Social Rights finds violations in 14 countries

Annual Report of the Spanish Federation of University Women

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AMUB Bilbao

The Spanish Federation of University Women (FEMU) has four associations (Bilbao, Madrid, Marbella y Murcia associations of graduate women), at this moment we are a total of 166 members.

These are the main activities accomplished along 2019:

During the 33ª General Meeting of GWI, that was hosted in Geneva from the 25th to 28th of July of 2019, the First Century of GWI took place. The FEMU attended being represented by four members and it was recognised as one of the three world organizations with a faster increase of its membership. The main issue of the meeting was: “Fostering the Peace Culture through women empowerment as a way of education”.

AMUM Marbella

Through the different associations we have done countless talks, seminars, cinema forums, lectures, concerts, visits to museums, voluntary work and other various activities. Some of them were directed to obtain resources in order to award a grant to 8 scholars girls who have excellent marks and a limited financial situation as they have to initiate their universities studies.

Currently, the FEMU, through her associations, is involved in boosting its membership even if there is an added difficulty as the Covid-19 pandemic, which is the reason we are increasing efforts to adapt to new technologies.

Guerilla girls message to the ladies attending Art Seminar in Marbella

 

This coming year we will keep working and having our activities online, as we are doing the most out of the year 2020, and we will maintain our main goal that is the promotion of women in our area by permanent education in the framework of UWE.

On behalf of the Spanish Federation of University Women,

Eloísa Sánchez-Amillategui / President

Annual Report of the Turkish Cypriot Association of the University Women

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All the activities referred to in this report have been carried out with the decisions of the Board of Directors of TCAUW. The activities were carried out by reaching the members of our association, and in communication with other associations in order to strengthen the status of women in the TRNC as well as other current issues, with the aim to help education, environment and women’s issues.

On January 8, 2018, the TCAUW General Assembly was held and the new board was elected.

A conference on “Being a Woman in the Assembly” was held in February 2018 by our association in the Chamber of Commerce. Speakers; Sıla Usar (CTP), İzlem Gürçağ (UBP), Gülşah Saner Manavoğlu (HP).”Support to Women” issues were discussed with the Nicosia Turkish Mayor M. Harmancı in cooperation with the Civil Organizations. It was decided in principle that the municipality can carry out women’s development activities in our association building.

In December 2018, our association was able to collect funds from the trip to South Cyprus our working partner CVAR (Rita and Costas Foundation Research and Library, Bi-Communal Cultural Heritage Museum) and the opportunity to see the southern villages was created for members and other women.

A working lunch meeting was held in Nicosia with the participation of the UN Special Representative and the Dutch Ambassador and our members participated.

Our Board Member Didem Erel made a speech at the CVAR jointly held with CVAR, UN special representative and embassies within the framework of bi-communal activities on 01.2019.

On 30.01.2019, the Board of Directors of TCAUW paid a visit to the First Lady, Mrs. Meral Akıncı to discuss cooperation with KAYAD, empowerment of women and combating violence.

A session was held at AKM (Atatürk Cultural center) in March 2019, attended by Fikri Toros (MP) and Hasan Esendağlı (President of the Turkish Cypriot Bar Association. In 2019, it was agreed with journalist Özgül Gürkut to create a book about extraordinary women in the TRNC. Berna Yılmazoğlu started an initiative for the sponsorship of Limassol Cooperative Bank.

A social meeting was held with the members of the association at the association building in April 2019. On June 15, 2019, second-hand goods were sold with the slogan “Let’s use what is not used” and some funds were generated for the association. An income was generated for our association by participating in second hand sales in Lapta region on behalf of the association.

Members participated to the Famagusta trip organization in the “Women’s Walk” sponsored by the bi-communal and embassies we are partners with. On 23 November 2019 “End of the year dinner” was held for the members and supporters of the Association. This also generated some income for our association. “Women’s Walk” organization was held at the Lakadamya village on December 7, 2019.

 

On behalf of the TCAUW:

Dr. Ferdiye ERSOY / CIR, CER

Annual Report of the Swedish Association of Graduate Women

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Annual Meeting Stockholm 2019-03-13

The Swedish Association of Graduate Women (Kvinnliga Akademiekrs Förening, KAF) was founded in 1904 with the purpose of working for women’s rights both on the national as the international level. Today it consists of five independent departments: Stockholm, Uppsala, Western Sweden, Southern Sweden and Umeå (Northern Sweden). The National Association works as an umbrella organization for the departments.

The National Association is run by a board with the following constitution: Anne-Marie Morhed, President (Uppsala), Stina Johansson, Secretary (Uppsala), Anna Lewin, Treasurer (Southern Sweden), Johanna Sjöstedt (Western Sweden), Kaarina Wallin, (Stockholm)

Coop-member: Beatrice Christensen Sköld, CER; Auditor University Women of Europe

Due to a generous contribution from the Swedish Authority of Women’s Equality the Association has been able to support the work of the local departments as well as travel expenses for conferences in Geneva and Helsinki.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemia much of the planned work has been postponed. However, local meeting have taken place due to the use of Zoom. The board has also been using Zoom for its meetings. Another big task, a biography project has also been able to continue undisturbed. Six members work with the biography of Sweden’s first female medical doctor Karolina Widerström.

The departments in Uppsala an Western Sweden have been working on projects dealing with the anniversaries of their organisations.

The Association is in charge of two foundations with the purpose to give grants to female students and researchers living in Sweden.

 

On behalf of The Swedish Assocation of Graduate Women:

Beatrice Christensen Sköld / CER

Annual Report of the Finnish Federation of Graduate Women

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Baltic Sea Conference

In 2019, we had 928 members and 19 local branches which organised over 200 local events (e.g. seminars, lectures, election panels, cultural events, visits in companies and organisations). FFGW had 6 employees, of which 5 worked in our integration projects.

Advocacy work:

We sought to increase the women’s participation in politics, remove the gender pay gap (17 %), decrease the educational and occupational gender segregation. In the Finnish parliamentary and EU elections we encouraged the parties to appoint more female candidates, reminded voters of the benefits of getting more women in power, presented our advocacy goals to the parliament’s women network and shared our EU campaign material with the UWE member associations.We marked the Equal Pay Day and kept the theme visible throughout the year on our social media channels. We discussed different solutions for decreasing gender-based segregation at our Baltic Sea conference together with university women’s associations from Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and Sweden. We helped to co-write the Finnish NGOs’ Beijing +25 report: our area of expertise was gender equality in Finnish education and economy. We took a public stand against honour related violence in Finland.

Major events:

We continued our national seminar series ”Transformation of Work: New Technology and Know-How”. Our local branches organised 7 seminars.

14.3.2019 New York. MY BODY IS MINE – How free contraception is linked to empowerment and education. 14th International Helvi Sipilä Seminar at the CSW64 organized together with the National Council of Women of Finland, the Coalition of Finnish Women’s Associations – NYTKIS, Finland National Committee for UN Women and the Young Women’s Christian Association of Finland YWCA. The seminar video is on Youtube.

29.4.2019 Helsinki. Does the EU include women? Seminar on the gender equality issues in the EU. Organized together with the National Council of Women of Finland and its member organizations.

12.10.2019 Vantaa. Together for GENDER EQUALITY IN EDUCATION AND WORK and Commitment to our common Baltic Sea. Organized together with British Embassy Finland, Eesti Akadeemiliste Naiste Ühing, Федерация женщин с университетским образованием, Kvinnliga Akademikers Förening and Lietuvos Universitetų Moterų Asociacija. The seminar videos are on Youtube.

29.10.2019 Helsinki. Women’s Career Boost. Inspirational workshop event for career planning. Organized together with our Auroras mentoring network for immigrant women and Women’s Career Network Finland.

Projects: 

President and few members of FFGW

NET-POWER – Network for Promotion of Women Empowerment Recognition

New Erasmus+ project together with University Women of Europe (the Netherlands). Asociatia Femeilor Universitare (Romania) and Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondiales (France). The project, which is coordinated by the language school Italian in Italy, began in October 2019 and will last for 24 months. During that time, we will collect, exchange and spread good practices regarding various gender gap issues. The first project meeting was held in Rome in November 2019.

Let’s Read Together – a national network that support immigrants’, especially women’s, Finnish language skills and integration. The network offers Finnish, Swedish and literacy teaching to immigrants all around Finland.Continuous funding by STEA (Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organizations), 80 groups in 29 cities and 2 permanent and 1 temporary employees.

Auroras – a national network that support educated immigrant women’s integration in Finnish society. The network offers group and individual mentoring. Project funding 2018 – 2021 from STEA and Finnish National Agency for Education, 10 groups in five cities and 2 temporary employees.

 

On behalf of FFGW:

Sari Kuusela/CER

Annual Report of the Graduate Women Scotland

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UWE Meet & Greet Dundee, 2019

Although we are ending this session in strange times and last years social events seem far away we have had a very busy session.

Just prior to the end on Session in May 2019 GWS hosted the UWE Meet and Greet in Dundee, and we were very happy to welcome 80 attendees representing 11 European Federations.

The GWI AGM followed in Geneva and 9 members of GWS attended, the UWE AGM being held during this meeting.

Cat Sutherland was on the GWI resolutions committee for the 2016-2019 Session and in October 2019 the GWI Board approved her nomination to be the Convener for the Resolutions Committee 2019-2022, coordinating a group of 4 GWI members based in Italy, Mexico and India coordinating Objective 3 from the GWI Strategic objectives in membership led by (and reporting to) Membership VP Eileen Fokker-Baker.

In November, Cat was selected from 40 applicants as one of the 20 delegates of GWI’s delegation to CSW64, due to take place at the United Nations headquarters in New

GWS delegates – GIW AGM Geneva, 2019

York City, New York, unfortunately cancelled due to Coronavirus. The GWI resolutions committee continued with their virtual meetings to progress towards 2 webinars as part of the GWI Webinar series These related to resolutions 5 and 6 which were attended on Zoom by many members including some from Europe.

GWS had a busy session with a wide variety of local meetings and the GWS lunch and visit in January. In addition GWS having provided sponsorship, members from the 3 associations attended at the PiCLS (Dundee School of life Sciences) meeting where they spoke to the many undergraduates present.

3 students studying in Scotland received grants from BFWG and Our President Fiona Sutherland met with them to make the presentation. This is a regular occurrence and caused GWS to look at ways that we can provide assistance to students and hopefully this will be in place in time to assist some girls who’s studies were affected by COVID.

GWS-Board

Using a combination of Zoom and email GWS and the local associations were able to hold their AGM and voted in Rachel Marsh (GWS East) as the new president in May 2020 (the other Board members remain the same). With restrictions easing the local associations are looking at how to present this years programme with several virtual meetings proposed.

On behalf of Graduate Women Scotland:

Cat Sutherland/CER

Annual Report of the Graduate Women International – Netherlands

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At the GWI-NL AGM April 2019, the members approved the annual report 2018, the budget 2019 and (re-)appointed the board , the yearly membership fee for GWI-NL was enhanced to € 37,50, the AGM approved GWI-NL joining two other women’s NGO’s in the Netherlands namely: the Dutch Women’s Council (NVR) and WO=MEN.

In view of the GWI 100 year theme ‘Peace through Education’ Marie Bamutese, now living in Belgium and a former refugee from Rwanda, co-author of the book MARIE – Surviving with death (Leuven, 2015) gave a lecture “A case from Rwanda” about the problems refugees encounter in our societies. Marie was elected as Woman of Peace 2016 in Belgium. Together with her husband, Belgian VRT-journalist Peter Verlinden, she wrote her story. The book is a pressing personal account of the genocide in Congo, 1996. After the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 a lot of Rwandese fled to East-Congo. However it wasn’t safe there either. In 1996 under the eyes of the UN a new, silent genocide took place. More than a half million Rwandese were bombed in the refugee camps by troops of the Rwandese president Kagame.

Participation UWE Meet & Greet in Dundee, Scotland 17-19 May 2019, conference theme: “My Identity. My Story”, the conference was a combination of discussion, culture and friendship.

Participation UWE AGM 2019 which took place during the GWI Triennial General Assembly in Geneva and UWE Collective Complaints procedure on Equal Pay.

Participation GWI-NL at GWI Triennial AGM and Centennial Conference “Peace Through Education” – July 2019

Some 10 members of GWI-NL joined the 33th GWI Triennial AGM and Conference in Geneva. GWI-NL proposed a resolution on Women and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in cooperation with NFA’s from Lithuania, Russia and England. The resolution was accepted.

GWI-NL members took part in the annual German speaking friendship meeting of the DACH (NFA’s of Germany, Austria and Switzerland) in Dresden, Germany, October 2019. The theme of the conference was: ‘Mitte Europas – Sachsen im Wandel’. GWI-NL will participate in the organisation of the DACH(H)-Treffen in 2020, which will take place in the Netherlands. Because of COVID-19 this meeting is postponed until the spring of 2021.

GWI-NL Expert Meeting in House of Europe, The Hague, 27 november 2019

1.Sexual and reproductive health education as a human right for all – by Marieke Ridders from Rutgers, the Dutch expertise centre on sexual and reproductive health, and rights 

2.Skype presentation by Fabiola Wollants of AMUS, El Salvador on “SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EDUCATION AS A HUMAN RIGHT FOR ALL”, GWI 2019 Resolution no

3. GWI-NL Workshop: developed suggestions for AMUS

At a global perspective we’ve seen a large push back from many different communities like the global gag rule. Some governments released a policy that restricts access to safe abortion services and information for women worldwide. Nowadays The Rutgers Organization, and other international planned parenthood federation experience a strong push back on comprehensive sexual education program (CSE).

CSE is mainly based on prevention. It helps young people to get to know their own body and to prevent a lack of self-confidence. It helps them in problem-solving and give them trust, rather than controlling. CSE forms the basis for later behavior regarding sexual contacts.

Some results of the GWI-NL workshop with suggestions and ideas which have been presented to AMUS, El Salvador:

  • Start with finding out the root course of the lack of sexual and reproductive rights in El Salvador and then connect with the grass-root actions, among others, by using social media if possible where men and boys are prominently included.
  • The Netherlands has experienced that contacts with and education of the police is essential and use positive statements of the church.
  • Also try to find allies in the educational sector and use GWI as a champion in your overall approach.
  • Important is also GWI’s regional network as your regional power and connect to the other NFAs in South and Central America and of course to Panama who is the co-signer of this resolution.
  • Look for success stories in hospitals and clinics. Positive storytelling/emotions are of utmost importance.
  • You could emphasize that El Salvador’s economic value increases when women’s sexual and reproductive health is addressed.

Success for SDG goal 3, Good Health & Well-being is also rewarding for politicians; you create a “win/win” situation.

Programme GWI-NL 2020/2021

  • July 2020: GWI-NL Webinar: ‘Graduate Women International – Significance for GWI-NL’
  • September 2020: GWI-NL AGM & Lecture
  • October 2020: NVR Young Feminist Weekend 2020 in The Hague
  • November 2020: GWI-NL Expert Meeting in The Hague: Corruption in Education

Corruption in Education from a European perspective in relation to SDG 16”; compare the report “The Global Corruption Report” which Transparency International published in 2013. Corruption can be found at all levels of our education systems, undermining the right to education, from ghost schools and fake diplomas, to undue corporate influence in university research. https://www.transparency.org/whatwedo/publication/global_corruption_report_edu cation

  • Spring 2021: Visit to the European Parliament in Brussels
  • 28-30 May 2021 DACH(H)-Treffen in 2021 in Rotterdam
  • Summer 2021: GWI-NL Webinar on Twinning Activities

 

On behalf of GWI-NL:

Saaskia Voortman/CER

 

Annual Report of the British Federation of Women Graduates

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virtual AGM via zoom

Local Associations have been adapting in many innovative ways during these strange times, as has the Management Team.

After a successful email Executive in March, the regretful cancellation of an International Day in June, planned to include GWI President Terry Oudraad, on July 19 the finale of a successful and innovative ‘virtual’ AGM of the British Federation of Women Graduates took place via a Zoom session attended by 27 Members.

President Patrice Wellesley-Cole (top row two in from right) concluded the business which had been conducted via email over the past few weeks, making several ‘thank yous‘ and announcing Sudha Srivastava (Top second from left ) as the newly appointed Alternate  CIR/CER .

BFWG is now adopting a system of ‘One woman One vote’ starting in 2021.
Many Registrants are donating their returned AGM Registration fee towards the Hegg Hoffet fund.

We welcome incoming President Jasmit Kaur Phull.(Middle column second row up).

Dr Gillian Hilton is carrying out research on challenges faced by women in the workplace and another Member has interviewed some of us in the so-called called ‘silent post war generation’ about attitudes to voting and particularly with respect to Europe.

Over the Summer Members also enjoyed a lively Questions and Answer Zoom session with noted historian Prof Mary Beard.

In early September our President Jasmit invited Dr Elizabeth Poskitt, noted  Paediatrician, former International and British Federation President and Jans Gremee Award Winner, to address British Members and English speaking Members of UWE, via Zoom.

‘Adapt to survive‘ has to be our motto!

 

On behalf of BFWG:

Jenny Morley/ CIR-CER

 

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