32nd GWI Triennial Cape Town, South Africa, August 2016: Report by Brenda Robertson 


Cape Town is very different from the cities in Tanzania like Arusha and Dar es Saalam, which I have seen.  I had not expected a city as modern looking, yet one with the African flavour and all the other European influences to create such a unique setting.  This is a beautiful city surrounded by a rugged coastline, sandy beaches, huge mountain ranges and valleys bursting with agriculture such as vineyards, grain crops and animal husbandry. Yes we saw the informal settlements - the townships, which are truly unfortunate and may cause you to feel disheartened.  But we also saw where the government is building affordable, attractive housing.  I can see the challenges in a country of 54 million people. The people we met were welcoming and helpful and enjoyed sharing the history of their city and country.  We especially appreciated the wonderful hospitality of the South African Federation.  As in any gathering, we reconnected with friends and made new ones among the many federations attending.  Networking also took place with the outstanding speakers at the conference. 

Of course the AGM/Conference was a series of long days and late nights, but well organized with excellent speakers/topics during the conference portion. The business of the AGM was intense and productive, conducted with professionalism.  Canada sent ten delegates and one alternate, while a number of other CFUW members from across the country also participated. Each delegate paid her own expenses (registration, flight, accommodations etc) except for the CFUW President and VP International, who had some of their expenses covered from a fund provided for a triennial.

GWI President

The newly elected GWI President Geeta Desai of the Women Graduates-USA lives in New York. Her board is comprised of women from the Turkish, New Zealand, USA, Nigeria and Australia Federations.  Canada has a presence in the international organization with the Assistant Treasurer, the Chair of Resolutions, and Membership committee members.

Resolutions

Resolutions from Canada on Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools, Full Accessibility and Barrier-Free Environments for Persons with Disabilities and The Use of Carbon Taxes to Reduce Climate Change all passed almost unanimously.  Those resolutions seconded by Canada on Child Marriage and Human Trafficking also passed,

Revised GWI Constitution

Canada had sent in numerous amendments to the GWI Constitution which had all been accepted, except for three.  Two of them, one to keep the number of members to form a federation at 20 rather than raise it to 40, and keeping the GWI Board members in charge of calling a meeting rather than the Executive Director, were presented again from the floor by Canada and were passed.

The third one on having a parliamentary authority reference document for use between triennials was problematic as not all countries follow any one authority.  However, we have been reassured that GWI will look at this request further.

Formal Report on GWI

As usual, there will be a detailed report going out about the GWI conference in September. Here is some preliminary information about the dues deliberations and voting results.

Like us, many NFAs felt the 35 CHF increase in dues effective immediately was too difficult to do. Several proposals came to the floor and after much discussion, the assembly voted in favour of an increase of 10 CHF in 2017, 6 CHF in 2018 and 6 CHF in 2019. There is no change in the dues formula for NFAs.

The formal report requested at our AGM in St. Catharines, which is due in January,  will outline the implications for CFUW.