Debate on the “Istanbul Convention – challenges in its implementation”

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On the occasion of the 70thanniversary of the Council of Europe it was organised a debate  on the Istanbul Convention – Challenges in its implementation , moderated by Anne Negre, UWE President  and Vice-President in Charge of Equality, Conference INGOs, Council of Europe, who had an intervention on the stereotypes on artificial intelligence and a presentation of the recommendation on sexism.

Following this event, the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, the spearhead of human rights, is worried about the future of fundamental rights of women and girls in Europe.

The European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter and the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, which is based on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other texts, should have allowed de facto and de jure equality between women and men. However, despite the efforts of the Council of Europe, most recently with the Strategy for Equality between Women and Men (2018-2023) and Recommendation CM/Rec(2019)1 to prevent and combat sexism, this objective has not been achieved by any member State while even severe regression appears, in some States, in family policies, sexual and reproductive rights.

Faced with contemporary challenges such as climate change, artificial intelligence, the persistence of stereotypes in all aspects of private or public life, and more, proposals to preserve the rights of women and girls are not sufficiently taken into account. The Conference of INGOs urges Member States to faithfully apply the texts they generally adopt unanimously within the Council of Europe. The credibility of the women and men who govern these States depends on effective action to respect these commitments.

Virtual Academy programme

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Applications for the Virtual Academy are now open!

Virtual Academy is an exciting, multi-stage online programme for Europe based non-business Master and PhD students.


It combines modules from one of our best capability building programmes, McKinsey Academy as well as the Harvard ManageMentor online courses plus various virtual skills workshops and a team challenge.

Master and PhD students, female talent who would like to further develop their problem-solving and analytical skills,  to learn about digital topics and Design Thinking  from the comfort of their own home,  are invited to this programme who is facilitating their development of new skills through a variety of exciting channels.  

The programme will be hosted over the course of two months (May and June) – application deadline is 23 April.

For more information and to apply, please visit virtual academy website

Council of Europe adopts first-ever international legal instrument to stop sexism

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The Recommendation  on preventing  and combating  sexism has been adopted yesterday by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.

In response to the #MeToo and other recent movements that have heightened awareness of persistent sexism in society, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted the first-ever international legal instrument to stop sexism, which includes the first international definition of sexism.

UWE President Anne Nègre, as the representative of the Conference of INGOs, was in the writing group and is very happy of this result.

The recommendation stresses that sexism is a manifestation of “historically unequal power relations” between women and men, which leads to discrimination and prevents the full advancement of women in society.

Because it is “widespread and prevalent in all sectors and all societies, and (…) sexism and sexist behaviour are rooted in and reinforce gender stereotypes,” sexism is defined for the first time ever in a dedicated legal instrument to tackle it, via a comprehensive list of measures and areas where sexism occurs, from advertising and media, to employment, the justice sector, education and sport. The text in particular aims to shed light on what sexist behaviour is and proposes concrete ways for different actors to identify and address them.

It requests that member states monitor progress in implementing its guidelines and to inform the Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Commission of measures taken and progress achieved.

The recommendation aims to address issues with which women, but also sometimes, men, are confronted with every day. Notably, it makes the link between sexism and violence against women and girls, explaining that acts of “everyday” sexism are “part of a continuum of violence that create a climate of intimidation, fear, discrimination, exclusion and insecurity which limits opportunities and freedom.”

Examples of recommended action include legislative reforms that both condemn sexism and define and criminalise sexist hate speech, and provide for appropriate remedies for victims of sexist behaviour.

The recommendation calls on states to use awareness-raising measures including “speedy reactions” by public figures, in particular politicians, religious, economic and community leaders, and others in a position to shape public opinion, to condemn sexism.

The recommendation also stresses that language and communication “must not consecrate the hegemony of the masculine model”.  It calls for the use of non-stereotypical communication to educate, raise awareness and prevent sexist behaviour. For example, it recommends ending the use of sexist expressions, and using gender-sensitive language.

The recommendation focuses, too, on recent technologies. While the internet and social media can promote free expression and gender equality, they also can allow “perpetrators” to express “abusive thoughts” and engage in abusive behaviour, the recommendation notes.

It takes into account artificial intelligence and how algorithms can “transmit and strengthen” existing gender stereotypes and therefore may contribute to the perpetuation of sexism.



Reminder early bird booking Meet & Greet Dundee

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From the information recently received from our organizer Graduate Women Scotland, we’re so glad to hear that many of you will join us in Dundee. Just a quick reminder  that the early bird rate for the Apex Spa hotel is only guaranteed till this Friday (22nd March).  If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet, please take that into account.


We’re very delighted to announce you that Prof. Niamh Nic Daeid is confirmed as key speaker on Saturday morning. Prof Daeid, Director of the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS) at Dundee,  recently won a European distinguished scientist award, is the first woman to be presented with the honour, and also the first person from a UK academic institution. The award is highly prestigious and is only given once every three years to ‘honour an individual who has performed outstanding scientific work in forensic science, it will be great to have her with us.

Glamis Castle

For those of you who still hesitate to go on visit, the Glamis Castle is a living,breathing monument to Scottish heritage, the family home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the legendary setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and the birthplace of Princess Margaret. The gardens surrounding Glamis Castle are beautiful all year round and you have the opportunity to see a wide variety of flora & fauna.


Please see here the programme, costs and booking details: Invite booking form

Registration by email to : info@graduatewomenscotland.co.uk
Registration and payment deadline: 30th April 2019

Looking forward to meet you in Dundee!

For the board,

many regards,

Roxana Elena Petrescu
Secretary General



CSW 63: 14th International Helvi Sipilä Seminar MY BODY IS MINE – How Free Contraception is Linked to Empowerment and Education

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The seminar will be organised on Thursday, 14 March 2019 at 10.00 – 11.15 am at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations (Address: 605 Third Avenue, 35 Floor). Breakfast will be served to all participants.

We kindly request your registration before 8 March 2019.

Organisers: Finnish Federation of Graduate Women, National Council of Women of Finland, Finland National Committee for UN Women, NYTKIS – The Coalition of Finnish Women´s Associations, Young Women’s Christian Association of Finland.

The registration information is used only for event communication. The information provided will not be published or given to third parties. The information will be retained for two (2) weeks after the event.


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Women represent 52% of the European population 
Women are cashiers, teachers, maintenance officers, secretaries, nurses, home helpers, nursery assistants, social workers, administrative staff, midwives, hostesses, students… Our business lines 
are essential to society. Yet they are poorly paid and their hardship is not recognized.
Women are engineers, technicians, workers, employees or managers. We do the same work as men but with a lower salary.
We are part-time with a part-time salary often because we have no other choice
Between shopping, cleaning and children, we do an average of 20 hours of household chores per week
Our work is invisible and devalued. Our salary is 26% lower than that of men. Therefore, from 15:40 we work for free. Every day.   
We are retired and our pension is 40% lower than that of men.
We have been fighting for a long time against the precariousness brought to the forefront with force by the yellow vests.
We are foreigners, victims of racism, disabled, lesbians, and we suffer from multiple discrimination.
We are women at work, on the street or at home, we face gender and sexual violence
We are French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Cypriot, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Russian, English, Irish, Belgian, Croatian, Serbian, German, Romanian, Moldovan, Czech, Azeri, Armenian, Turkish, Swiss, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Latvian, Estonian, and Brazilian, Iranian, Argentinean,  Indian, American, Canadian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Ivorian, Japanese, Chinese, etc.  and we are everywhere in the world in solidarity with all women .
To say that women demand equal rights , our work to be recognized and paid for. To end  violence and guarantee our freedom of choice. To win equality and make our voices heard 
These are demands we need to make  to our employers and the government.
We together with other associations call for a feminist strike on March 8, actions of rallies, demonstrations. Let’s disengage at 3:40, Paris hour. Let’s all wear a purple scarf!


We are waiting of the result on the collective complaints against the 15 countries which accept them, for a violation of the European Social Charter on non respect of equal pay for equal job launched by UWE at Strasbourg. European Confederation of Trade Union, EQUINET and European Union are part of the procedure and support it.

News from British Federation of Women Graduates

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UWE Rome Conference, 2018 /bwfg.com

Proud of our Association of the Year 2018, post – the last UWE Conference on ‘ Women in STEM professions‘ in Rome which many of us attended, was included on the list of “The Best STEM Organizations For Girls & Women (& How To Donate)”. Girls Who STEM (GWS) is  a free resource for parents, providing everything from in-depth product reviews to expert STEM for girls advice, 40 institutions nominated, BFWG is no. 39 on the list.

You can see the full list here:  https://girlswhostem.com/best-stem-organizations-for-girls-and-women/

Congratulations  for this well – earned recognition which is testimony to the hard work and dedication!

Vice President Carrie de Silva, representing the Federation, was invited on 20 February to lead an inspiring broadcast about the development of the fight for women’s equality, the current career progression issues,  beyond the ‘ glass ceiling’, the strength of networking and the importance of the inspiring new film On The Basis Of Sex. The film’s content will encompass Women ‘ Firsts’ in the Law in the UK , through to the first Q. C. (Queen’s Counsel ), first Judges , Attorney- General , first in the Supreme Court to the majority female Supreme Court.