Report on 32nd GWI Triennial General Assembly

CFUW Bulletin

Report on the 32nd GWI Triennial General Assembly
Cape Town, South Africa
August 21-23, 2016

This publication contains time-sensitive information generally directed to Club Executives and pertains to CFUW activities and events. Please send relevant pieces to all Club Members. 

Note from the President:

This report is the usual type of report that is produced after a Triennial General Assembly and Conference.

It has lots of links to the reports and presentations that were made at the GWI General Assembly. These reports and presentations will give you a broad picture of the information presented. Of course, the GWI dues increase motion that was passed is there. CFUW, as a large National Federation (NFA), gets a reduced rate, so our GWI dues rate increase will be a 9 Swiss Franc (CHF) for 2017, a 5 CHF for 2018, and a 5 CHF for 2019. Please remember that our bylaws state:

“Annual per capita dues shall be set by a special motion passed at an annual general meeting. Written notice outlining any proposed changes to the dues shall be sent to all Clubs at least one hundred and twenty (120) calendar days prior to the annual general meeting.” 

This means that no CFUW national membership dues increase can take place this 2016- 2017 fiscal year.

Please note as well that the board has another report to do. It is the report that was requested via a motion made at the CFUW 2016 AGM and Conference. The motion stated:

In light of the close majority vote on June 24, 2016 with respect to Amendment #2 from St Thomas and the upcoming Triennial GWI meeting in Cape Town, we kindly request the Board to complete a report no later than 6 months after the GWI Triennial meeting in Cape Town to propose a proactive way ahead for CFUW.
On behalf of the board, I wanted you to know that the committee has been struck, and the board will have it and our financial situation as the main focus of our first board meeting on September 20th. We want to ensure that we gather as much information as possible, understand all the implications and explore numerous avenues in order to deal with our financial issues and fulfil the request for a proactive report going forward, while keeping the timeline as tight as possible to deliver the report.

Last by not least, I want to extend a special thank you to Cheryl Hayles, VP International Relations along with staff for compiling such a detailed report.
Karen Dunnett
National President, CFUW
PH. 506-533-9839
The Power of Women Working Together
La puissance au féminin: ensemble pour réussir  

Respectfully submitted by Cheryl Hayles, VP International Relations on 

September , 2016


32nd GWI Triennial General Assembly

Cape Town, South Africa

August 21-23, 2016


Keynote Speaker: Adam Habib

Vice-Chancellor, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

Spoke of turmoil in USA, Europe, Asia and Africa.  (No mention of Canada)

The challenges in South Africa are extenuated.  Useful as a social laboratory for where humanity exists.  Shows how quickly you can move in 22 years yet faced with challenges (Assuming this reference is to the 22 years since Apartheid).

58% enrolment for women in his university - Medical

47% in Mining and Engineering

Sign of progress because women are being integrated

Rape statics is one of the worst in the world, child and women abuse.  A sign of failure for the South African society.

Rape culture in university is prevalent.  Racial and class connotations.  Professors were taking advantage of racial and poor female students from the country :  Gender office created to address disciplinary processes and support.

Reimagined the entire question of the rights of the victims.  The intersectionality of discrimination (Black women, socio-economic disadvantage, from rural areas).

Manage an institution within the framework of the constructs.

South Africa - Society in Transition. When poor students were protesting everyone looked on.  When middle class students started protesting it culminated in a march on parliament and the Union buildings, Hmmm…

Students feel alienated from the institutions they attend. 

Insourcing:  University outsourced the employment practices to other companies so that they could not be challenged on human rights grounds for underpaying and pigeonholing their black employees.  The blacks did food services and cleaning. Men and women laid down in front of the university gates.  This paralyzed the University.

It has to be the state that makes the concession to students not the university.  Demand was for zero percent on fee increase....  Human rights obligation come at a cost.  Task team that would come up with a plan.                      

University year January to December.

How you protest is as important as the issue you are protesting.

That strand that perverts the noble struggle, you have no right to do so.

Tie investment in education to growth rates!

Great potential of inclusive development because Africa has a young population.


Catherine Bell's (President until end of Triennial) Presentation:  

Click here for presentation


Executive Director Presentation

Click here for presentation


Business Meeting 

29 NFAs in attendance; 64 votes expected


Canadian Federation of University Women Voting Delegates:

Cheryl Hayles

Karen Dunnett

Sandy Millen

Joy Hurst

Liette Michaud (Alternate)

Susan Murphy

Hally Siddons

Marianne Singh-Wariach

Brenda Robertson

Beryl Mathewson

Carol Hare


Other CFUW Members in attendance:

Roberta Balmer

Brenda Wallace

Phyllis Scott

Kati Lyons-Villiers

Susan Russell

Mary Hall
Janice Harvey



Click here for Treasurer’s report

Click here for Finance Committee Report

Click here for Report of Assistant Treasurer – Switzerland

Click here for Report of Assistant Treasurer – Canada

Click here for Financial Triennial Overview 2011-2016

Click here for 2015 Annual Report

Treasurer’s presentation highlighted a split of the GWI Board on financial matters.  The Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee described incidents of non-compliance to best practices on the part of the President and Executive Director.  The Treasurer did not attend the Pre-Triennial Board meeting as the meeting was scheduled and there was a delay in her flight. When asked about the financial situation of the Conference, she referred the questions to the President and ED as she was not involved in the budget planning.

Dues Increase Motion

Amendment from British Federation, Panama, Norway, Scotland, Nigeria, United States

Dues increase vote on Monday, August 22, 2016 at approximately 3 p.m.

Amendment to the motion:

CHF 10 in 2017

CHF 6 in 2018

CHF 6 in 2019

40 for; 22 against and 4 abstentions.  There will be no change in the way the rate is calculated.

After further discussion, final vote for the motion for the dues increase

53 for

8 against

4 abstentions


The President, Catherine Bell, presented a budget that reflected a dues increase

 52 Votes on the floor

44 in favour

8 abstentions


Budget carried

New Zealand and Australia promised to submit their dues early.


Click here for Triennial Planning 2017-2019

GWI has enough money to cover the operating budget until the end of September 2016.  Danielle Castle (outgoing Executive Director) said $$$$ will be coming in from a source.  Did not say how much and what source that will be. As stated previously, New Zealand and Australia have promised to submit their dues early. 

Finland gave notice to withdraw at the end of the Triennial.

*GWI asked for and received permission from the general assembly to use restricted funds to supplement their income until such time as the monies can be replaced.  Restricted funds include monies for Fellowships, monies designated for Projects etc.


 Result Of The Presidential Vote

Geeta Desai of Woman Graduates USA was elected President of GWI for 2016-19. Geeta thanked Graduate Women USA and the Indian Federation for the work they put into the election process and their support for her as their candidate.

The President, Catherine Bell was asked the results of the vote in the general assembly.  She replied that results for the presidential election are not disclosed.  Vote for officers of the Board is done as a secret ballot, which is different from all other votes done on the floor.

Scrutineers:  Phyllis Scott, Brenda Wallace et al.

Click here for Letter from Geeta Desai, GWI President


GWI Board 2016-19

Rae Duff, VP Legal and Governance; Louise McLeod, VP Marketing; Basak Ovacik, VP Fundraising; Eileen Focke- Bakker, VP Membership, ‘Tricia Blombery, Treasurer.

New Executive Director: Stacy Dry Lara

GWI Staff:  Amy Paunila, Lorraine Mangwiro and Hélène Queyrane.


Constitution Vote

Article II 1. Size of a national federaton or association (NFA) to be 40 members – defeated (will remain at previous level of 20 members)

Article VI The Board of officers - The Executive Director was struck out.

Article XIV Parliamentary Authority - Defeated


Constitution was approved.


Resolutions Votes

All Canadian Resolutions passed.

1.    Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools

Proposed by: Canadian Federation of University Women

Seconded by:  Mexican Federation of University Women



2.    Full Accessibility and Barrie-Free Environments for Persons with Disabilities

Proposed by: Canadian Federation of University Women

Seconded by:  Mexican Federation of University Women



3.    The Role and Responsibility of Faith in the Ending of the Subjugation of Women and Girls

Proposed by: the Finnish Federation of Graduate Women

Seconded by: the Swedish Federation of University Women



4.  Polygamy as a Form of Violence Against Women

Proposed by: the Finnish Federation of Graduate Women”

Seconded by: the Swedish Association of Graduate Women and the Turkish Federation of Graduate Women

Carried, with the addition of the word “possible” before “problems of polygamy” and “consequence”


5. Harassment of Women and Girls as a Violation of Their Human and Civil Rights in Public Places

Proposed by: Women Graduates - USA

Seconded by: the Indian Federation of University Women’s Associations



6. To Bring an End to Intolerance of Minorities and Smaller Groups and Make the World More Tolerant

Proposed by: Indian Federation of University Women’s Associations

Seconded by: Women Graduate - USA



7. Preventing Female Genital Mutilation

Proposed by: Indian Federation of University Women’s Associations

Seconded by: Women Graduates - USA and the Uganda Association of University Women



8. Human Trafficking of Women and Children

Proposed by: Mexican Federation of University Women

Seconded by: Canadian Federation of University Women



9. Child Marriage

Proposed by: Mexican Federation of University Women

Seconded by: Canadian Federation of University Women



10.  The Use of Carbon Taxes to Reduce Climate Change

Proposed by: Canadian Federation of University Women

Seconded by: Mexican Federation of University Women



11.  Young Members in Graduate Women International

Proposed by: Turkish Association of University Women

Seconded by: New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women



12.  The Reduction of Adolescent Pregnancies and Their Consequences

Proposed by:  Mexican Federation of University Women

Seconded by: Canadian Federation of University Women



13. Internal Resolution on Dues

Proposed by the GWI Board of Officers on the recommendation of the GWI Finance Committee

Amended as per attachment



14. Internal Resolution - Confirmation of Auditors and Audit Type

Proposed by the GWI Board of Officers on the recommendation of the GWI Finance Committee



15. Internal Resolution - Place and Date of the 33rd GWI General Assembly and Conference

Proposed by the GWI Board of Officers

The 32nd GWI Assembly resolves to:

delegate to the Board of Officers the duty of deciding the time and place of the 33rd General Assembly and Conference.



16.  Internal Resolution - Approval of Triennial Financial Budgets 2017-2019

Proposed by the GWI Board of Officers on the recommendation of the GWI Finance Committee


The 32nd GWI General Assembly resolves to:

*  approve the action plan and its attendant triennial Financial and Functional Budgets 2017-19

*  approve the estimates as a triennial budget and not discreet annual budgets, so that money not spent in one year can be carried forward to the next

*  approve that the 2017-19 Board can adjust the budgets according to need and circumstances (note: use the restricted funds)



Conference:  August 24-26

Early estimates predicted 20K CHF loss at the pre - GA Board meeting. Last minute registrations could improve the conference numbers. Final numbers to be determined.


CFUW’s Contribution to the Conference

Cheryl Hayles, Canadian Federation of University Women, Dr. Nita Marwa, Indian Federation presented a workshop on: What makes a successful project:  Participating GWI affiliates shared their experiences of Bina Roy projects, 2013-16.


Special thanks to Michelle Imison of the Australian Federation for her work as Convenor for the Project Development Committee and for co-planning the workshop.  Thanks to Liette Michaud, Carol Hare and Brenda Robertson for attending our workshop.  Thanks to Joy Hurst for accepting the challenge to be Rapporteur for the workshop.



My gratitude to Sandy Millen, CFUW Winnipeg for being a great room-mate on this journey.  Thank you to CFUW for electing me to represent you as VP International Relations, your support kept me grounded.