Posted on

Mosul, Iraq. Suhaib Salem/Reuters

New research published by Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo’s Global placed Syria the no 1 worst country in the world for women. While the the lowest-ranking countries on the index are historically more unstable and volatile, nordic countries dominate the best countries for women’s list with Denmark on top, according to a ranking by U,S. News & World Report.

The index measures women’s well-being — based on factors such as justice, security, and inclusion . You can explore here Women, Peace and Security Index by country, dimension, story, download report and download data — in 153 countries.





Denmark’s progressive government and societal structure enables its citizens to socially mobilize across multiple arenas; women and men both enjoy access to mostly free medical care, and higher education is also free. Additionally, the country is home to a new intersectional party called Feministisk Initiativ (or F!).


Since the ranking’s inception, Sweden has never finished lower than fifth in the Gender Gap rankings. Nearly two-thirds of all university degrees in Sweden are awarded to women, its policies regarding parental leave are flexible (and expand to spouses), and government-run bodies such as the Secretariat of Gender Research serve only to enshrine the values of equality across all platforms.


Norway earned a perfect score in overall citizenship, and ranks 2nd of 144 countries in the 2017 Global Gender Gap Report. The country has even been called “a haven for gender equality.” Norwegian political parties even introduced voluntary gender quotasway back in the 1970s.


The Netherlands has long been a pioneering country for gender equality; itsemancipation policy of 1978 ensured that parental leave, care, income, power, decision, education, and salaries remained equal between men and women, and in 2011 they instituted their “LGBT and Gender Equality Policy Plan” to legally advocate LGBT and all-inclusive gender equality.


Most Nordic countries are outspoken champions of women’s rights, and Finland is no exception: the country ranked 3rd of 144 countries in the 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, its parental leave policies are exemplary, and its Act on Equality between Women and Men literally exists to sanctify the basic tenants of equality between all genders in every aspect of life.


Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s 2018 federal spending plan — which is entitled “Equality + Growth, A Strong Middle Class” — aims to empower women and invest in them as essential proponents in the country’s work force.


Switzerland holds the number one ranking on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Countries list, and outstrips many countries in terms of trustworthiness, environmentalism, human rights, education, public health, and economic stability.


Not only did Australia make important progress when the country legalized same-sex marriage in 2017, the country also boasts a high life expectancy for both women and men.


In 1893, became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women legally had the right to vote in parliamentary elections — now, 2018 is a historical year for New Zealand as it marks the country’s 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage.


Germany nabbed a perfect score in entrepreneurship, and Angela Merkel currently serves as the country’s first woman chancellor — she’s been in office since 2005.




Since March 2011, Syria has been engulfed in what has been referred to as “the worst humanitarian disaster of our time.” Rape and torture in secret prisons, malnutrition, andgender-based violence is reportedly an everyday reality.

“Gender-based violence continues to undermine the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims in Syria,” said Panos Moumtzis, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator (RHC) for the Syria Crisis. “It’s imperative we do more.”


According to a Human Right’s Watch report, only 37% of Afghan women are literate, a third of girls are married before they turn 18 (and sometimes forced out of education), the country’s maternal mortality rate is high, and women’s civil liberties are overall restricted.


According to the United Nations Population Fund, approximately 2.6 million women and girls in Yemen are at risk of gender-based violence, with 52,000 women at risk of sexual violence, including rape. According to World Report 2017, women in Yemen do not have equal rights to divorce, inheritance, or child custody as men in Yemen.


Violence against women and girls remains a serious concern in Pakistan, with offenses like child marriage, rape, murder “honor killings,” acid attacks, and domestic violence reportedly remaining prevalent.


The CAR has been embroiled in violent armed conflict since 2013, and instances of violence against women, including rape, have been reported by the UN. “Numerous cases of violence against women, in particular sexual abuse and rape, have been reported in all of the localities that Seleka combatants have passed through,” the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, reported in 2013.


Congo has the potential to be one of Africa’s richest nations, due to its wealth in natural resources— however, it remains one of the world’s least developed countries, with at least 7.5 million in dire need of humanitarian assistance: nine out of ten people in DRC need urgent humanitarian aid. In 2010, a UN representative referred to Congo as the “rape capital of the world,” and another study alleged that 48 women are raped there every hour.


A 2010 United Nations fact sheet stated that one in five Iraqi women were subject to domestic violence, and a 2012 Ministry of Planning study found that at least 36% of married Iraqi women have experienced some form of abuse at the hands of their husbands.


According to a list compiled by ONE campaign, less than half (38%) of girls in Mali have completed primary school. Only 9% of women have parliamentary roles (a bleak figure compared to Rwanda, which has 64%), and 72% of the population lives on less than $2 a day.


According to a profile from UNICEF, 34% of women aged 15 to 49 in Sudan believe that a husband/partner is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstance, and that 34% of women aged 20 to 24 were married or in a union by the time they were 18.


Only 17% of women in the world poorest country Niger aged 15 to 24 are literate, according to a list compiled by ONE campaign (a non-profit aiming to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease). Additionally, Save the Children released a 2016 report of the best and worst places for girls based on five indicators, which included child marriage and adolescent fertility rates, and Niger, where 76% of young women were reportedly married before they were 18, and one in five adolescent girls gave birth a year on average, scored the last place in a list of 144 countries.











Opportunity for young people to attend the Austrian EU Presidency gender equality conference – apply by 12 August

Posted on

The Austrian EU Presidency is organising a conference of gender equality ministers on 11 and 12 October 2018 in Vienna on the topic of gender and youth. This summer, they launched a call for application for young people aged 16 to 30 to attend the conference. The Austrian Presidency and the European Commission are funding travel and accommodation costs for up to two young people per EU Member State. It would be great if you could please share this opportunity with your networks as soon as possible. Interested candidates need to complete an application through the database of the European Youth Forum (YFJ) by 12 August :

Please spread the news about this opportunity with all your networks of young feminists.


About the conference

Hosted by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union together with the Austrian National Youth Council & the European Youth Forum, the conference ‘Gender Equality and YOU’ aims at inspiring a positive, open and future-oriented dialogue about gender equality.

The conference will provide a space for exchange and discussion at eye-level among young people, youth representatives, ministers, representatives from NGOs and public administration, international and EU bodies:

  • Discussing young persons’ visions for the future of gender equality in their countries and in the EU
  • Exploring perceptions and experiences between persons from different generations and Member States
  • Identifying needs for change to strengthen gender equality

The eligibility criteria for a financed participation are:

  • resident of an EU member state
  • having a strong interest in the topic of gender equality
  • able to work in English
  • aged between 16-30 years

More information is available here:

Application to be completed through the database of the European Youth Forum (YFJ) by 12 August :

2018 GWISB Seminar

Posted on

BFWG is honoured to host the inaugural meeting of the English speaking subgroup of UWE:
Graduate Women International Ireland Scotland and Britain (GWISB)
Patrice Wellesley-Cole, President of BFWG invites you to a seminar:
‘A Celebration of 100 years of Women’s Suffrage in the UK’
(—-and 90 years of all women getting the vote)
On: Saturday 22nd September 2018
Venue: Chancellors Hotel, Moseley Road, Fallowfield, Manchester M14 6NN
0161 9077414

Registration: 10.30 Tea, Coffee & Biscuits; Welcome: Patrice Wellesley-Cole
Chairman: Jenny Morley, Coordinator of European Relations
11.00-12.00 Lyndsey Jenkins, BA, MA, MSc Biographer, writer & historian, D Phil student at Wolfson College, Oxford, & BFWG Scholarship Awardee
‘Votes for Women’, Radical cause and rallying cry: histories of the British Women’s Suffrage campaign
There will be an opportunity for questions and reflective discussion after the presentation.
12.00-13.00 Carrie de Silva MA, LlB
Principal Lecturer at Harper Adams University, Vice President of BFWG
‘People & Property’: the extraordinary career of the first woman chartered surveyor
There will be an opportunity for questions and reflective discussion after the presentation.
13.00-14.30 Buffet Lunch and networking in the Conservatory Lounge
14.30-15.30 Dr Lauren Arrington BA (Hons), MA (Hons), D Phil (Oxon), FRHistS Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool
‘Lessons from the First Wave’
A long view of #MeToo and intersectional feminist discourse
There will be an opportunity for questions and reflective discussion after the presentation
15.30-16.00 Future plans: Chaired by Aisha Alshawaf, Vice President of UWE
Discussion of frequency, topics and next venues for GWISB meetings
16.00 Tea, Coffee & refreshments
*Optional: Evening meal at Carriage Restaurant (Chancellors)
19.00-22.00 Chef’s choice of three course set menu (wine not included)
*For Members and guests staying overnight there is a further option of a Sunday morning visit to Pankhurst Centre (details TBC)
(A donation will be made to the Centre depending on the number of participants)
A special rate of £74.95 pp B&B (single occupancy) has been agreed, subject to availability. Please contact the hotel directly for details and to book quoting ref (213525)

To Register please complete form below and return it with a cheque made out to BFWG to: Aisha Alshawaf, 9 Tankerton Heights, and Whitstable CT5 2BW UK

If you are paying by BACS transfer please ensure your name and ‘September Seminar’ appears in the reference line: NatWest Clapham Junction, 66-68 St John’s Rd, SW11 1PB
E mail: with any enquiries.
Booking form
Special dietary requirements ………………………………………………………………………………….
Federation and Association/Independent………………………………………………………
Day delegate rate including buffet lunch and three course dinner………… £73
Day rate including buffet lunch but excluding dinner…………………………… £48
Additional dinner ……………………………………………………………………………..£25
Total =
Please indicate if you are paying by cheques or BACS………………………………………….
Are you interested in the Sunday am visit to the Pankhurst Museum?…………………….
All bookings will be acknowledged by e-mail
(If you require postal acknowledgment please include a SAE)
Closing date 03/09/2018

Call for applications: International Marie S. Curie FRIAS COFUND Fellowship Programme (FCFP) 2019/20

Posted on

For the sixth time the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies ( which is the University of Freiburg’s international research college publishes a call for applications of the international Marie S. Curie FRIAS COFUND Fellowship Programme (FCFP), now for the academic year 2019/20.

About 25 fellowships will be awarded through a highly competitive, strictly merit-based selection process.

This programme offers outstanding international researchers, both on the junior and the senior level, an opportunity to apply for an extended research stay here at the Institute.

Thanks to Dr. Katrin Brandt (FCFP Project Coordinator) – FRIAS, we share this information asking you to consider this opportunity for yourself and/or to pass it on to colleagues to whom this call might be of interest.

The programme, which is co-financed by the European Union’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Programme, is open to all disciplines; the financial conditions are internationally competitive.

Fellowships of 3 to 10 months may be applied for in the senior scheme, while in the junior scheme the fellowship duration is 12 months. Successful applicants will conduct their fellowship between September 2019 and September 2020.

For the fellows at FRIAS, the programme offers outstanding research opportunities, not only in the research environment of a leading European research university, but also with the added advantage of being part of a community of fellows from different disciplines.

FRIAS provides its female researchers with targeted information on attractive offers relating to mentoring, coaching and training. Special attention is given to fellows who plan to come to Freiburg together with their families. FRIAS makes every effort to provide tailor-made solutions with regard to suitable accommodation, child care and educational facilities.

Further information can be found at:

The deadline for application is September 15, 2018.

FRIAS is looking forward to your application and feels indebted to you for passing on this information to your colleagues!

To receive more news from FRIAS, heere you can subscribe to the monthly electronic newsletter FRIAS Express

Good bye Rome Conference 2018!

Posted on Updated on

Good bye Rome!

We had conference, annual general meeting, enjoyed opera moments, italian food, impressive tours in the eternal city and around.

First day of the Conference, presidents of UWE and FILDIS welcomed almost one hundred university women at the beautiful building of Spazio Europa (European Parliament affiliated venue). Key note speakers, women in STEM professions were giving their speeches sharing the positive steps and highlighting the challenges on this important topic. In the afternoon we all continued with the workshops on solving the issues women are encountering in such professions and  increasing women’s participation in science, technology, engineering and math with additional focus on how to create opportunities and assist systems for women in STEM professions.


GWI President, Mrs. Geeta Desai, provided a video message expressing her concern about STEM fields becoming increasingly male centric, failing to serve half of the global population without female contribution, the overwhelming number of women who are currently unable to take advantage of STEM opportunities because, from an early age, they have been discouraged from studying these male dominated subjects.
Next day at the AGM we enjoyed a very pleasant atmosphere, a new President Anne Negre giving a presentation and update about collective complaint on the pay gap has been elected , thank you Edith Lommerse for all your work and inspiration as UWE President. The delegates voted unanimously that I will stay for another 3 years as SG keeping up the good work the Board has done, thank you all for your trust, it meant a lot to me. Another special presence at this special reunion was Israeli delegates giving a wonderful speech about gender inequality.


In the end we had a presentation and  invitation from GWI announcing the 33rd Triennal and Centenary Celebration in Geneva Switzerland, followed by a prosecco break for 100 years of GWI.

Later on we gathered for gala dinner on a wonderful luxury roof top one Michelin Star Restaurant to share impressions, gifts and say thanks to our host from Fildis: Gabriella Anselmi and Pina Foti.

British Federation Women Graduates were awarded the prize of 2018 UWE Association of the Year for surviving for 111 years and providing hundreds of post graduate research scholarships to women since 1912.

Congratulations  and thank you all for being with us in Rome for another UWE Conference.

More pictures in our google album: UWE Rome Conference 2018 and facebook album: UWE Rome AGM . Feel free to share tag yourself and please let us know about your experience in Rome filling this online Evaluation Form UWE Conference Rome Survey

For the board,

Roxana Elena Petrescu

Secretary General UWE

Overall Programme UWE Conference 21st – 24th June 2018 Rome

Posted on

UWE Conference 21st – 24th June 2018 Rome

Overall Program Women in STEM professions: Challenges – Support – Education

How to reach the Cicerone Hotel from the airports:

From Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci airport:

1) Train “Leonardo Express” (€ 14,00) every 30 minutes to Central Station Termini and from there by subway line A towards Lepanto stop (5 minutes walk from the hotel).

2) SITBUS Shuttle (€ 6,00) from Terminal 3 to “Via Crescenzio, 2” stop (5 minutes walk from the hotel).

3) Taxi, approximately € 50,00.

From Ciampino airport:

1) SITBUS Shuttle (€ 6,00) or Terravision (€ 5,00), bus toward Central Station Termini and from there by subway line A (€ 1,50) towards Lepanto stop (5 minutes walk from the hotel).

2) Taxi, approximately € 50,00.

BEWARE: all the following information has like starting point the Cicerone Hotel.

Thursday 21st June 2018 – Conference Registration from 5.00 pm onward at Cicerone Hotel, Via Cicerone, 55/c, 00193 Roma RM, +39 (0)6 3576

  • 07.00 pm: Informal welcome and light dinner(snack & drinks) at Beef Bazaar, Via Germanico, 136, 00192 Roma RM, a modern and lively restaurant where modern Roman like to go. We’ll have a ten minutes guided walk from the Cicerone Hotel to the Beef Bazar

Friday 22nd June 2018 – UWE Conference day. European Parliament – Office in Italy “Spazio Europa” Hall, via Quattro Novembre, 149, 00187 Roma RM

  • 08.00 am: Meeting in front of Cicerone Hotel where a courtesy bus with 51 seats from “Gentili Group” will be waiting for participants in order to reach the Conference Hall.

  • If preferred UWE members can arrange by themselves a Taxi to European Parliament – Office in Italy “Spazio Europa” Hall. The cost for a Taxi is about €10,00
  • 09.00 am – 01.15 pm: Introduction of the Conference Theme, keynote speeches

  • 10.45 am – 11.45 am: Coffee break

  • 01.15 pm – 02.15 pm: Lunch in Loco at Spazio Europa
  • 02.15 pm – 05.00 pm: Workshops and Round Table

  • 08.00 pm: Dinner at Il Giubileo, Via di Porta Cavalleggeri, 145, 00165 Roma RM, a classic Roman restaurant, 15 minutes guided walk from the Cicerone Hotel

Saturday 23rd June 2018 – UWE Annual General Meeting. Valdese Temple, Via Marianna Dionigi, 59, 00193 Roma RM, 5 minutes guided walk from Cicerone Hotel

  • 09.00 am – 09.30 am: Registration CERS. *To be able to vote at the AGM either the known CER or a delegate with a proxy from the NFA must present themselves as such at the registration desk on the day of the AGM. Only NFA’s that have paid their due on the 15th of June will be allowed to vote.
  • 09.30 am – 11.00 am: Welcome
    Edith Lommerse President UWE

    Presentation and update Collective Complaint on the Pay Gap
  • 11.00 am -11.20 am: Coffee break
    We will also use this as a moment to get more info on the main subjects and themes of NGAs.

  • 11.20 am – 01.20 pm: Sharing reports NFA’s: please use the UWE ppt draft report as we will have a “inspiration Market”.
    Presentation Candidates President – Anne Nègre from France

  • 01.20 pm -02.20 pm: lunch – voting at Valdese Temple

  • 02.20 pm -04.00 pm: second formal part AGM

1. Adoption agenda

2. Minutes AGM 2017

3. Jans Gremmée award and UWE award

4. Reports

a. Vice Presidents

b. Financial statement 2017, budget and fee 2019 

We propose to keep the same membership fee per capita – 1 eur.

c. Six Year report President Edith Lommerse

5. Memorandum of understanding (draft)

6. Next AGM 2020 – as next year the celebration of 100 years GWI will be celebrated in Geneve

Call for Meet and Greet 2019

7. Result elections

8. Any other business

9. End of meeting Thank you President Edith Lommerse

APPROX 16.30 – intermezzo invitation GWI half hour presentation and sharing ideas 100 years GWI and UWE AGM 2019 -Geneva, Switzerland

Prosecco break for 100 years GWI

  • 08.30 pm: Gala Dinner at Luxury Roof Top one Michelin Star Restaurant, Piazza Barberini, 23, 00187 Roma RM, from Cicerone Hotel to reach the Piazza Barberini you need to take subway line A from Lepanto and after 3 stops get off at Barberini

Sunday 24th June 2018 One day Rome tour (2 options: Colosseum area or Vatican area) TOUR WILL BE ACTIVATED WITH MINIMUM 10 PARTICIPANTS

  • 09.30 am: Meeting at Cicerone Hotel

  • 01.30 pm – 02.00 pm end of the tour

Monday 25th June 2018 Two day Tivoli tour CONFIRMED

  • 09.15 am: Meeting at Cicerone Hotel
  • 10.30 am: Arrival in Tivoli and visit to Villa Adriana

  • 01.00 pm: Lunch at the Grand Hotel Duca D’Este

  • 02.30 pm: Visit to Villa Gregoriana

  • 07.30 pm / 08.00 pm: Dinner at the Grand Hotel Duca D’Este

Tuesday 26th June 2018 Two day Tivoli tour

  • 09.30 am: Visit to Villa D’Este

  • 01.30 pm – 3.00 pm: Lunch

  • 03.00 pm: Way back to Rome

Thoughts from the Board

Posted on


UWE Board – AGM Graz 2017
As we are approaching our conference and AGM we would like to share with our members the effort, dedication and commitment that the team on the UWE board have spent to achieve the objectives of the organisation, support members and iron out all the challenges.
During the last six years, Edith has steered the ship to the shore, her experience was shared with the VPs, tresurer and secretary, this will be a very hard act to follow.
Thank you, dear President!
Aisha Alshawaf, Vice president
Pina Foti, Vice president
Annelies Pierrot – Bults, Treasurer
Roxana Elena Petrescu, Secretary General