EWL at CSW61

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Like every year, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) will take part to the 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (13-24 March). EWL membership is very active during CSW61, organising side events and influencing the negotiations on the Conclusions which should be adopted by the UN member states at the end of the session.

This year’s priority theme is “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work” and the emerging issue is ’The empowerment of Indigenous women”. Ahead of CSW61, the EWL had sent, together with its members, a joint statement highlighting the situation of women domestic workers. We have also made comments on the zero draft of the conclusions.

During CSW, the EWL is organising two events :

  • A side event co-organised with Belgium and Iceland, on “The Nordic Model on prostitution: a key step to ensure girls’ and young women’s economic empowerment”, on Wednesday 15 March, 8.15-9.30am, in conference room 8 of the UN.

  • A parallel event co-sponsored by NAWO Youth, Unizon, Wagggs, the European YWCA and Rights4Girls, on “#HerFuture: Challenges & opportunities for girls’ and young women’s economic empowerment”, on Wednesday 15 March, 2.30-4pm, at the Salvation Army (downstairs).

Other EWL members’ events:

EWL Secretariat members will also be speaking at:

EWL will take part to the EU-briefing, and will co-facilitate the meetings of the caucus for Europe and North America:

  • Wednesday 15 March, 6.15-7.45pm, Boss room Church Center
  • Monday 20 March, 6.15-7.45pm, 2nd floor Church Center

The list of NGO events is here. The list of official side events is here.

How can culture empower Europe to respond to the refugee crisis?

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We thought maybe you will be very interested  to read this editorial and find about an intensive learning programme, which focus is on the question of culture in Europe’s refugee crisis, especially if you are planning to come to our next UWE Conference 24-17 August, 2017, Graz.

The “Fortress Europe”, the closer economic and political union of diverse peoples built on the exclusion of “Others”, is showing its cracks under the pressure of millions of migrants, refugees and asylum applicants. This is a crucial moment for the European Union, as its members are divided over their responses. Just this month, on 3 February at the Malta Summit, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, spoke with leaders on measures to better manage migration to Europe and save lives. The gathering resulted in the publication of the Malta Declaration which sets out concrete short- and medium term actions to improve the migration situation along the Central Mediterranean route and on the ground in Libya and its neighboring countries. However, this outcome has been controversial. Reactions from civil society have warned the European Union against the potential of stranding refugees by making a deal with Libya, the main launching point for hundreds of thousands of migrants who have crossed to Europe fleeing war and dire conditions. Europe’s refugee crisis is not an easy issue to address for anyone acting at the policy and practitioner level, but as leaders in culture and education we have never turned away or given up from complex issues and challenges. Furthermore, at times of controversy, or when social fabrics and democracy are at risk of being torn apart by rising right-wing politics, increased extremism, and isolation, it is through the power of culture and education that we can defend and reaffirm European values of tolerance, solidarity, and unity that Europe is built on. Committed to empower and train the current and future generation of European cultural leaders, ENCATC will be looking at “The Question of Culture in Europe’s Refugee Crisis” at the occasion of its 6th ENCATC Academy on Culture in External Relations next 27-28 of March in Brussels. The educational programme will focus on how through arts and culture we could deliver a powerful response to the influx of refugees, migrants and displaced communities coming to Europe … ” Note from Editor GiannaLia Cogliandro Beyens – ENCATC Secretary General

Established in 1992, ENCATC is an independent european network of more than 100 member institutions in over 40 countries active in education, training and research in the broad field of cultural management and policy.
The members are higher education institutions, training centers, cultural organisations, consultancies, public authorities and artists in over 40 countries, who make an impact on cultural management and policy as well as the education of students and lifelong learning of cultural mangers worldwide.

ENCATC News is an electronic monthly newsletter produced for ENCATC members by the ENCATC Secretariat in Brussels, supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission. A shorter Digest version is made for non members. In each issue, readers can learn from peers in the ENCATC in Contact interview series, see what other members and cultural organizations are contributing to the field, and consult recently published books, studies, and reports.
Here you can download the latest ENCATC newsletter and read more interesting news and find out how you can take an active part in an educational programme for your work in culture and external relations related to this issue. 

Take action on social media for 1 Billion Rising

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banner_-_for_members_messages_2-6c550On Tuesday 14 February, University Women of Europe together with the European Women Lobby (EWL) and other members from all over Europe will be rising to say no to the sexual exploitation of women and girls !

The 5th edition of One Billion Rising will be an opportunity to express our demands to see a world free from sexual exploitation and prostitution, from male violence and oppression. We will rise everywhere, through different actions: dance, demonstration, events… The EWL will launch a social media action, with strong messages on home-made visuals!! A way to celebrate women’s creativity, strength solidarity and togetherness!

EWL social media messages are based on visuals created by EWL staff members during an artistic workshop held in Brussels. Please download them below and share them on facebook on Tuesday 14 February, using the hashtags #1BillionRising, #RiseInSolidarity, #EndDemand, #ListenToSurvivors, #Youth4Abolition, #StopSexualExploitation.

Please share them with your members, so that they can use them too. Some are in French too, regardez bien! You have a lot of choice, between different messages, colours, visuals, creativity!

Please let us know what you plan to do for One Billion Rising: send us some photos, some webpages links, some description. We need to inform V-Day of the European mobilization, and show how we take action to end the sexual exploitation of women & girls!

Download and use the following visuals!

As you can see, some have free space for you to add your messages and/or logo.
Some have the logo of the Brussels’ Call, the European coalition campaigning for the Nordic Model on prostitution. So use the visuals according to what best suits you, whether or not you are a member of the Brussels’ Call and/or Youth4Abolition, whether you prefer to create your own messages. Some are in French too!

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Joint statement European Commission,Parliament and Council Presidency calling for ratification and implementation of Istanbul Convention

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A message from the European Women’s Lobby. Focusing on the need to combat violence against women. One of the action themes of UWE.

Dear all,

Last Friday 3/02 , on the occasion of the Conference in Malta on EU responses to gender based violence, the three European Institutions (European Commission, Parliament and Council Presidency) signed a Joint Statement calling the Member States to:

  1. “To ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) for those Member States not having done so yet;

    2. To fully and effectively implement the Istanbul Convention;

    3. To conclude and finalise the decision on the EU accession to the Convention with a meaningful scope; and

    4. To engage in a constructive and open dialogue with the Presidency, the Commission and the Council of Europe to clarify that the definition of gender-based violence is the violence that happens to women because they are women and to reaffirm the ongoing commitment to solve the outstanding issues.

    5. The three European institutions also commit themselves to zero tolerance to violence against women and girls.

2016 Board Diversity Census of Women & Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards

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One of the aims of UWE is to enhance the position of women and support measures to increase the number of women in decision making positions. Although many efforts have been made by women in Europe and in the rest of the world, despite modest gains, women and minorities see little change in representation on Fortune 500 boards.

Currently, 65 percent of Fortune 100 boards have greater than 30 percent board diversity, compared to the Fortune 500 where that percentage drops to just under 50 percent of companies. This 2016 report od Deloitte  highlights the progress to date that has been made for women and minorities on corporate boards. While there have been some gains, they have been negligible at best, and certainly not representative of the broad demographic changes we have seen in the United States in the same period of time. Reviewing the data provides insight into board diversity changes from 2012–2016 across the Fortune 500. A few specific summary items to note:

  • Some progress has been made for African Americans/Blacks in securing/holding Fortune 500 board seats. The bulk of the African American male increases occurred within the Fortune 100. There has been an increase in the Fortune 500 of African American/Black women board members by 18.4 percent since 2012, while the total number of African American male board members in the Fortune 500 had only an increase of 1 percent.
  • The percentage of Caucasian/White women currently holding Fortune 500 board seats has increased by 21.2 percent since 2012, and the number of Caucasian/White men has decreased by 6.4 percent.
  • Asian/Pacific Islanders have shown continued growth. However, their starting baseline was small—thus their overall representation is still roughly three percent of all board seats, representing a total of 167 seats, with an additional increase (46.7 percent) in Asian/Pacific Islander women.
  • African Americans/Blacks appear to have the highest rate of individuals serving on multiple boards—indicating that companies are going to the same individuals rather than expanding the pool of African American candidates for board membership.
  • Nominal gains have been accomplished for Hispanic/Latino men, while we saw a loss of two Fortune 500 board seats for Hispanic/Latino women since 2012.
  • Direct Link to Full 29-Page 2016 Report:

Invitation to the UWE Conference 2017 in Graz, Austria 24-27 August

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We are pleased to invite you to the next Annual General Meeting of the University Women of Europe in Graz. As usual, the AGM will be combined with a two-day conference. This year, the conference theme is: “Changing Cultures”. The large number of refugees from Islamic countries present a challenge for Europe and are sometimes perceived as a threat to women. Our focus will be on the issues and chances arising from the current situation of refugees in Europe.

What does this process of migration mean for the women fleeing their home countries, but also, what does it mean for the women in the countries accepting refugees? How does the social climate change? How do the traditional and arriving cultures interact with each other? What impact does all this have on women?

We will try to find ideas on how to deal with encountering different cultures and different values, while also being concerned with equal rights and respect for women. In addition to this, we will investigate possible ways in which refugee women can become part of the European society. 

We are looking forward to meeting you, exchanging ideas and continuing to be engaged in the work towards an improvement of women’s lives in Europe and all over the world.

The conference is open to all members of the University Women of Europe and their friends.


The Austrian Federation of University Women (VAÖ) is happy to host the UWE Annual General Meeting 2017 in Graz. The city of Graz is located in southern Austria and is known for its Mediterranean atmosphere and relaxed life style. With about 300.000 inhabitants and over 50.000 students, it is a very lively city with lots of interesting things to do and to see. The conference will take place in the city’s historic center, a UNESCO world cultural heritage. You will find magnificent Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture as well as romantic inner courtyards and hidden alleys all over the city. There are numerous museums, churches, theaters and an opera house, countless cafés and restaurants.


Graz can be reached easily by various means of transport: The city has an international airport with several daily flights to Vienna and many other large European transport hubs. If you fly to Vienna, you can take a direct bus (from the airport or the city center) to the center of Graz (www.flixbus.at) or use the national railway service (www.oebb.at). Within the city, the public transport system is well-structured with trams and busses – a three day ticket can be purchased online for 12 € prior to your arrival (https://ticket.holding-graz.at).


  • Thursday 24 August: Arrival and registration, welcome reception.
  • Friday, 25 August: Welcome notes, keynote speeches and workshops followed by a country evening with traditional Austrian music and food. On this evening we will also celebrate the 95th anniversary of the VAÖ.
  • Saturday 26 August: UWE Annual General Meeting; Gala Dinner in the evening.

A detailed schedule of the conference programme will be available on the UWE website.


We welcome proposals for workshops on the conference theme. If you are interested in leading a workshop, please send us a proposal consisting of a ten-line summary (max. 300 words) about the workshop. Workshops should take no longer than 60 minutes, including a presentation of approximately 20 minutes. Please submit your proposal no later than 30 April 2017 to boarduwe@gmail.com.


The Franciscan monastery in the city center of Graz will serve as our conference location. It is a historic site with beautiful architecture and a long, interesting history. The buildings were recently renovated and were turned into a modern conference center. 

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23 August 2017 (pre-conference tour):

Tour 1 – An afternoon in Vienna

An afternoon in Vienna with a guided city tour through the city’s historic centre. This tour is ideal for participants arriving in Vienna and wishing to explore Austria’s capital before travelling on to Graz. (Approx. 20 €) You can either spend the night in Vienna or go to Graz by train or bus the same evening.

27 August (post-conference tours):

Tour 2 – Graz city tour

Guided city walking tour of Graz, showing beautiful hidden treasures and historical highlights of the city. Duration: approximately 2 hours. (11 €)

Tour 3 – Western Styria

A bus tour to the western part of Styria, visiting the Lipizzaner stud (the white Lipizzaner horses bred there perform in the renowned Spanish Riding School in Vienna) and a church designed by the celebrated Austrian artist F. Hundertwasser. Lunch will be provided. Duration: approximately 6 hours. (Approx. 70 €)

Tour 4 – Wine Country

A bus tour of the wine country in the southern part of Styria, often referred to as “Austrian Tuscany”. This tour includes a traditional Styrian lunch (“Brettljause”) at a typical local restaurant and a wine tasting. Duration: approximately 6 hours. (Approx. 70 €)


Hotel Weitzer: www.hotelweitzer.com, just across the bridge (200 m) from the conference location.

Double/single room: 80 € per night (+15 € for optional breakfast)

Reservations: hotel@weitzer.com

Hotel Daniel: www.hoteldaniel.com, next to the main train station, 10 minutes by tram from the conference location.

Double/single room: 69 € per night (+ 15€ for optional breakfast)

Reservations: hellograz@daniel.com

When making a reservation in one of the hotels, please use the following code:

UWE Conference 2017

For people who need barrier-free access, there are some single rooms (35 € per person, no breakfast) available in the monastery/conference location. There will also be a limited number of single rooms available in the VAÖ dorm (20 € per person, incl. light breakfast), located approximately 20 minutes from the city centre by tram. If you are interested in staying at one of these two accommodations, please write to club@graz-vaoe.at as soon as possible.


The conference fee includes conference registration and documents, all lunches, coffee/tea and the Austrian evening (95th Anniversary of VAÖ). Registration deadline: June 30.



FRIDAY 25 August

SATURDAY 26 August


Early bird fee

20 May 2017

185 €

Regular fee

30 June 2017

210 €

150 €

100 €

Young member fee

30 June 2017

170 €

Gala dinner

45 €


Early bird fee

30 April 2017

210 €

Regular fee

30 June 2017

240 €

Gala dinner

55 €

Click here to register online your participation!

Please pay your fees to the following Austrian bank account:

Verband der Akademikerinnen Österreichs
IBAN: AT41 2081 5020 0010 1374

For any additional inquiries about the conference, please contact VAÖ: club@graz-vaoe.at and use the subject line: UWE CONFERENCE 2017