CFUW News:

Special IFUW Triennial Conference Edition




September 16,

 Club Presidents are asked to please circulate this IFUW issue of CFUW News and Updates to all members for their information about IFUW
  IFUW Triennial in Istanbul 
August 16 - 21, 2013


The Conference offered a wide variety of experiences and, in the following reports, you will get a flavour of how our delegates participated. I particularly want to thank our Executive Director, Robin Jackson and the National Office staff for their work in preparation, the voting delegates and alternates for their work, and all of the delegation for their co-operation and assistance in helping to make this experience a very positive one for us. I received a number of compliments about the contributions of Canadian delegates!

It was my pleasure leading the delegation on behalf of CFUW.

Susan Murphy,


Message from newly-elected President of IFUW Catherine Bell


Catherine Bell, President of IFUW

Greetings to all CFUW members!


Your AGM in Victoria seems like a lifetime ago, as so much has happened since then.  What hasn't changed is my affinity for Canada and Canadians. 


Thanks in large part to your support, I am delighted that the membership of IFUW have chosen to believe in the flame of learning and promote education for women through our members and our projects, in other words, through our ownership and hard work.  The choice made by the membership in Istanbul is for optimism and hope.  


The Board, staff and committees will work towards increasing the number of NFAs and helping existing NFAs build and diversify their own membership.  We plan to run more Bina Roy projects and several new projects, focused on different regions of the globe and different areas of interest within the context of secondary and higher education for women - our focus.   We would like to run projects across NFAs to strengthen ties between NFAs, and build our profile by having multi-national projects that can attract sponsorship for all.   We will be communicating more to the outside world to make IFUW visible, focusing our advocacy strategy and working in a manner adapted to the fast-moving, demanding 21st century. We will look to working more closely with our members, and look forward to working with you as close colleagues to strengthen IFUW and our NFAs.



Best wishes



IFUW Welcome Letter
(September 4, 2013)


Dear All,

It is with great pleasure that I put pen to paper to thank all those of you who made the journey to Istanbul for a wonderful conference, and to thank all of you across the whole Federation for the momentous decisions that you made for IFUW's future. 

Although the results of the vote on the proposals were posted, it was never announced officially, so I have the great pleasure of announcing that Proposal 1 - the proposal to stay in Geneva and grow IFUW through a fully functioning professional office - won with a 68% majority.  Acceptance of the proposal includes the acceptance of the proposed constitutional changes (except the limit of terms to two which was rejected) and acceptance of the proposed budget.  Now that this has been agreed, we will be moving the Action Plan ahead!

The office has begun working on projects and plans and will be focusing heavily on membership, fundraising and projects. We will be mindful of budget, while attempting to grow the organisation.  Please keep a close eye on the website, as the new constitution will be posted shortly, as will other information. For those of you not yet signed up to the closed membership area, please sign in - it is easy and there is a lot of information in that section for you to consult if you so wish.

Board and Committees

I am pleased to be able to announce that someone was brave enough to stand as Treasurer, so we have a full Board that is composed of: Vice-Presidents Ayden Birerdinc (Turkey), Susan Russell (Canada), Jennifer Strauss (Australia), Margaret Tait (England and Wales), and Treasurer Elsbeth von Navarini (Switzerland).  Each Board member has a role in liaising with the committees, and we hope this triennium to have much more cross-functional working among committees that will be facilitated by the Board.

The Standing Committee list will be posted on the website shortly.  The Board decided to add some additional members to some of the committees for their skills and expertise, so the lists will have more people on them than expected in some instances.  The list of committee members can be found at the end of this letter.

Structure and Voting

One of the Constitutional changes from proposal 1 was the removal of Council in order to give IFUW a flatter, more modern and, I believe, more democratic structure.  I am sure that this will raise many questions of how we vote between conferences and what becomes of the role of the CIR.  Voting between conferences will be electronic, as it is now.  The difference will be that NFAs will have the number of votes determined by their membership.  This will require more work by the office in setting up votes, and will require NFAs to nominate "delegates" to vote.  The constitution allows for these nominations to be annual, so as your NFA changes officers, you will be able to nominate new people for the purpose of voting.  It sounds complicated, but I am sure we will all manage it well, and we will get a chance to test it out next year when we need to vote on audited accounts.


In Istanbul we started a CIR forum by having a lunch meeting with those CIRs that were available.  A list serve will be set up shortly, and we hope it will prove to be a useful mechanism to exchange ideas and project proposals, and to benchmark best practices that can be applied in different countries.  There is a great deal of expertise within IFUW.  We need to harness and share this, and we hope that these expertise can be put to work to the benefit of secondary and higher education of women worldwide.

The suggestion to have a CIR forum came from one of the members.  I look forward to receiving other positive suggestions that will help to bring IFUW closer to the members and the members closer to IFUW.

To reiterate what I said at the end of the conference in Istanbul:  my team, that is the Board, Staff and Committees, and I thank you for this opportunity to lead IFUW during this challenging but exciting time. You have given us a mandate to take IFUW forward and we will work hand in hand to make this triennium one of growth and opportunity for all.

Yours sincerely,   





 The list of members of committees is as follows:   



Finance Committee: 
Assistant Treasurer in Switzerland
Sheila BUEMI-MOORE (Swiss Association)


Assistant Treasurer in Canada  

Carol HARE (Canadian Federation)


Members (2 elected)  

Veena BATHE (Indian Federation)
Tricia BLOMBERY (Australian Federation)



Committee for the Award of International Fellowships: 
Anne ASSERSON (Norwegian Association)


Members (3 to be appointed - 4 appointed)

Oya AKINCI (Turkish Association)
Sharon Anne CRABB (Canadian Federation)
Beatrice O. KER  (Nigerian Association)
Gomathy VENKATESWAR (Indian Federation)



Membership Committee: 
Kathy MUMFORD (Australian Federation)

Members (4 Members to be elected - 5 appointed)  

Nezihe BILHAN (Turkish Association)
Geeta DESAI (Women Graduates USA)
Mary HALL (Canadian Federation)
Valerie SABATIER (French Association)
Judith SAROR (Nigerian Association)


Resolutions Committee: 

 Marianne SINGH-WARAICH (Canadian Federation)


Members (3-5 to be appointed - 3 appointed)  

Carol ARINZE-UMOBI (Nigerian Association)
Lynda ROBERTS-HALL (Australian Federation)
Mythili SUNDAR (Indian Federation)


Status of Women Committee: 


 Rae DUFF(New Zealand Federation)

Members (5 to be elected - 5 elected, 1 appointed)  

Ranjana BANERJEE (Indian Federation)
Maria de Lourdes ENRIQUEZ (Mexican Federation)
Alice M. KAGODA (Uganda Association)
Serap MAKTAV (Turkish Association)
Louise McLEOD (Women Graduates USA)
Fenna WOLTING (Netherlands Association)


Committee for the Hegg Hoffet Fund:
Convener (temporary)

Marian ENNIS (Canadian Federation)


Members (3 to be appointed - 4 appointed) 

Joy DUNSHEATH (New Zealand Federation)
Margaret Joan GILES (Australian Federation)
Anne HARRIS HENNON (French Association)
Natalia TIKHONOV SIGRIST (Swiss Association)


Committee on Project Development: 

Michelle IMISON (Australian Federation)

Members (3 to be appointed - 4 appointed)  

Nita MAWAR (Indian Federation)
Cheryl Dawn HAYLES (Canadian Federation)
Akanisi KEDRAYATE (Fiji Association)
Gabriela del VALLE DIAZ MUNOZ (Mexican Federation)


The CFUW Delegation and Their Contributions to the IFUW Triennial


 CFUW had a contingent of thirty (30) delegates attending this 31st Triennial in Istanbul, Turkey and we thank them for their friendly and positive participation and their generosity towards others.

They were: Brenda Robertson*, Brenda Wallace*, Carol Hare*, Cheryl Hayles*, Gerlinde Sarkar*, Hally Siddons, Helen Sami, Jody Sutherland, Jan Harvey, Jane Bermingham, Jeanne Sarson*, Leila Metcalf, Liette Michaud*, Linda MacDonald*, Lois Hunter*, Lynn Moyles*, Marian Ennis, Marianne Singh-Waraich*, Muriel Scott-Smith, Muriel Smith*, Nancy Devillers, Phyllis Scott, Ruth Currie, Ruth Suderman, Sandra Millen*, Susan Murphy*, Susan Russell*, Mary Hall, Louise Beaulieu-Steiner and Maddy Hoogstraten.

Special thanks go to the delegates and alternates (*) who gave their time to participate in the business meetings, attend additional information sessions, present resolutions, and consider carefully our votes on important issues.

Special thanks also go to:
* Brenda Wallace, CIR, for representing CFUW at the Council meetings
* Susan Russell, incoming VP of IFUW, for her participation as a facilitator and leader in the theme days
* Marion Ennis, Chair of Hegg Hoffet, for leading work of the IFUW Shop raising money for the HH fund
* Marianne Singh-Waraich for her work as a member of the Resolutions Committee
* Mary Hall for her work as one of three special Procedural Advisors to the Business Sessions
* Jan Harvey for her work as minute taker for all the business meetings
* Phyllis Scott, Past IFUW VP, for her thoughtful advice on issues and networking
* Liette Michaud for bringing and distributing a suitcase full of booklets on Financial Literacy so generously donated by University Women's Club of Montreal
* Carol Hare for arranging tea for CFUW members with members of the Indian Federation
* Hally Siddons for setting up the reception with Dr. Sima Samar and for arranging dinner out at a lovely Turkish restaurant
* Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald for their workshop on Non State Actor Torture
* Hally Siddons for her seminar, and Hally and Leila Metcalf for the workshop on Education in Afghanistan, and Dr Sima Samar for her contribution
* Maddy Hoogstraten and Louise Beaulieu-Steiner for accepting the IFUW Certificate of Recognition for CFUW's donations to the Bina Roy Partners in Development Programme
* Delegates who were so warm and welcoming to Nasima Rahmani, our Afghan representative who is working to establish an Afghan IFUW affiliate   


CFUW Members to IFUW Board and Committees 2013-2016



Susan Russell

Susan Russell - Vice-President 


Susan Russell has been acclaimed one of four Vice-Presidents of IFUW.  She currently serves on the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund Projects Committee and is Chair of the CFUW Resolutions Committee, is a former Executive Director and Life Member of CFUW. She is a member of CFUW Ottawa, Nepean and Wolfville.



Carol Hare

Carol Hare - Assistant Treasurer 


Carol Hare has been appointed as one of two Assistant Treasurers of IFUW. Prior to retirement, Carol was a high school teacher of mathematics and computer science for over twenty years and was the Head of the Mathematics Department. Since 2010, she has been CFUW Vice President of Finance and Chair of the CFUW Charitable Trust. She is a member of CFUW Mississauga. 




Marianne Singh-Waraich

Marianne Singh-Waraich - Convenor, Resolutions Committee   


Marianne has been appointed as the Convenor of the IFUW Resolutions Committee. She served as Director of Resolutions on the CFUW Board of Directors from 2002 to 2004. She was Director of Educational Affairs for CFUW for four years and served as CFUW's representative to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.  She represented CFUW on two committees of the Canadian Global Campaign for Education, an organization that promoted the Millenium development goal of Education for All. She is a member of CFUW Burlington.



Mary Hall

Mary Hall - Member, IFUW Membership Committee


Mary Hall has been appointed to the IFUW Membership Committee. She is a member of CFUW Belleville and District and has held numerous positions on their executive. She was Regional Director Eastern Ontario for four years. She served on the national board of CFUW as VP Ontario, Director of Educational Affairs and Chair of Constitution and By-laws. Mary has been convener of the IFUW Resolutions Committeeand has acted as a constitutional and procedural advisor for IFUW. She has been a Public School Trustee for many years. 



Marian Ennis

Marian Ennis - Convenor, Committee for the Hegg Hoffet Fund for Displaced Women Graduates


Marian Ennis has been the Committee Chair of the Hegg Hoffet Fund for three years, a member for many more and has graciously agreed to carry on as the Committee's temporary Convenor until a new Chair is identified.  Marian is a member of CFUW West Vancouver. 



Cheryl Hayles

Cheryl Hayles - Member, Committee on Project Development 


Cheryl has been appointed as a Member of the Committee on Project Development. She is a Vice-Principal in an elementary school, fluently bilingual, and is the Regional Director for Ontario South and Vice President of CFUW Ontario Council. Cheryl is a member of CFUW Milton.





Sharon Crabb

Sharon Crabb - Member, Committee for the Award of International Fellowships

Dr. Sharon Crabb has been appointed as a Member to the Committee for the Award of International Fellowships. Prior to retirement, she developed programmes for professional development for use by teachers and students.  Her doctoral dissertation was entitled "Women's Perceptions of Vertical Career Mobility in Educational Administrative Positions in Selected Provinces in Canada." Sharon is Vice- President of her club, CFUW Fredericton. 


What happened with Proposals 1 and 2?


Within the first Business Session, the Procedural Advisors, Clare Stein (US), Lorraine Isaacs (NZ) and Mary Hall (Can) helped explain the process to be used for the presentation, discussion, debate and vote on Proposals One and Two concerning the future of IFUW. Each team was given 20 minutes to present their proposal. Three members from MCI joined the platform to present Proposal Two. Questions were only permitted from non-voting delegates during this time. Voting delegates had time the following day during the debate.


That evening at the Marmara Pera Hotel time was set aside to discuss Proposals One and Two and again the MCI team joined us. Again, there were tough questions asked of both teams.


On Sunday the Business Session began with the debate on Proposals One and Two and continued until the voting. The discussion around both proposals was intense, with emotions and passions running high. In the end, the members of IFUW endorsed Proposal One with more than the required 2/3 majority, and after hearing the presentations and discussing with our members, CFUW supported Proposal One.


This means that the IFUW Office will remain in Geneva and we will have a staff that will work with the new Board to implement the Action and Business Plans that will take us into the future.


As with all Triennial Meetings, there was a tremendous amount of work carried out and shared. Tough decisions were made but there is a sense of determination going forward as we all recognized the need for promoting women's rights around the world. There will be changes, but as well-educated and dedicated women, we will rise to meet them.



Brenda Wallace,


VP International

Policy Resolutions at the IFUW Triennial in Istanbul


 Any member country can submit a resolution to the IFUW Resolutions Committee if it finds another country to second it. The Resolutions Committee vets the proposed resolutions, keeping the strategic plan of IFUW in mind. Turkey, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada, the USA, Australia, Scotland, and Rwanda presented or seconded 12 resolutions. All were passed, most unanimously. The full texts are available on the IFUW website: Sadly, most of the resolutions dealt with violence against women, too great a reality everywhere. The exceptions were our own Education for Indigenous People, female representation on national UN delegations, the criminalization of customers of prostitutes and the effect of globalization on women. The approximately 500 delegates representing the 58 National Associations responded enthusiastically to the resolutions. 


The real work begins now. Each resolution is accompanied by a plan of action. Take a careful look at the resolutions and incorporate them into planning your monthly meetings. Nationally we must approach our government on these issues: through our MPs, locally; through the Board's appeal to the federal government at the national level. We are privileged women by virtue of living in this country but it is abundantly clear that our sisters in many countries are only starting their journey towards emancipation. Having profited from our grandmothers', mothers' and our own struggles to win equality of opportunity for women, we must assist the women of the world in whatever way we can to achieve the same opportunities. Their governments may not be friendly to those ideas but they are subject to persuasion by other governments at the UN where they want to look progressive in the eyes of the world.. Canada has an opportunity here and it is up to us to see that our government presses these issues at the UN. This is particularly important now that the goals for post 2015 are being set. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have done a lot to advance education, health and ameliorate poverty in developing countries but they did not achieve their objectives. Now we must continue the struggle and complete the process!

Marianne Singh-Waraich

Chair, Resolutions Committee

IFUW 2013 -2016


Education Underpins Effective Change


 EDUCATION UNDERPINS EFFECTIVE CHANGE is the message that we brought home from the 31st IFUW Triennial Conference in Istanbul.


IFUW is an international network, founded in 1919, linking women graduates from all cultures, all fields of study, all professions and all generations. It provides a global voice for women graduates, working for the adoption and implementation of international agreements that will protect and benefit all women and girls.It has national affiliates in 62 countries and individual members in more than 40 others.


At present IFUW is the leading girls' and women's global organization run by and for women, advocating for women's rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels.


IFUW's advocacy focus is "Education for the Realization of Rights".


IFUW's special value lies in that it empowers girls and women to access education as a human right through its global network of educated women leaders. We need to make this visible and understandable to all through our actions.  


The meetings are over, and we have returned home.


With the adoption of Proposal One - to retain an office in Geneva, members made a thoughtful and bold decision.  The path ahead will be challenging and we can be sure that things will not be as they have been before. The staff team in Geneva will work hard to implement the action plan that comes with that Proposal.  Expect to see changes in this Triennium, and greater interactivity between the Board and NFAs.


The new Board's task is to help IFUW to focus on every aspect of its work and each committee will be asked how it can focus on IFUW's vision to provide women and girls all over the world with access to secondary, higher and continuing education


This will mean that some committees will have to refocus, and change their ways of working, while others will have to sharpen their focus to ensure coherence with the vision.  We will work more cross-functionally, so that each committee's work enhances the work of the other committees.  Examples would be that advocacy will focus much more clearly on the areas covered by the mission and the resolutions of IFUW.  Each committee will be tied more closely to the mission of the organisation in order to produce deliverables that can be identified.


I look forward to a new and re-vitalised IFUW.  


Susan Russell,

Vice-President of IFUW


Hegg Hoffet at IFUW


During an IFUW plenary session, Marian Ennis explained the purpose of the Hegg Hoffet Fund (to assist graduate women who have been displaced due to war, political upheaval, or other emergencies), and introduced one of the 2011 grant recipients, Michiko Kanno, a young Japanese woman whose family had been affected by the recent Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster.

Michiko spoke about the ongoing effects of the earthquake/tsunami on her career, her home region, and on the rest of Japan.


Maddy Hoogstraten (left) and Marian Ennis (right) at the IFUW Triennial's Hegg Hoffet Shop

 The Hegg Hoffet Shop at the conference was very successful. In four days we sold hundreds of small items which were donated by attendees from around the world, and raised over $5000.00. Many thanks to the CFUW members who donated items and volunteered at the Shop, which is our major fund raiser. Between conferences, donations from local branches and national associations are also needed to help fund the Hegg Hoffet grants.


Marian Ennis,

North Vancouver, BC,  Canada,

Convener, Int'l Federation of University Women Special Committee for The Hegg Hoffet Fund for Displaced Women Graduates 


Bina Roy, Partners in Development


The Bina Roy Partners in Development Program was created in 1978, first named the Counterpart Aid Programme, and renamed in memory of Dr. Bina Roy (1914-1994), teacher and educational advisor from India. The Bina Roy Partners in Development Programme (BRPID) supports projects empowering women and girls through education and leadership development.


Project Development Committee appointed by the IFUW Board for 2013-2016:


Convenor Dr. Michelle Imison, Australia; 


Committee Members Dr. Akanisi Kedrayate Tabualeva (Fiji), Dr. Nita Mawar (India), Gabriela Del Valle Diaz Munoz (Mexico), Cheryl Hayles (Canada) and;


Board Liaison Catherine Bell (President, IFUW)


The Committee reviews project submissions from NFAs to ensure the proposals contain implementation plans and established goals.  Approved projects must provide mid-term and final reports to the Committee. 


What are the criteria for a BRIPD grant? 

  • The project must be related to IFUW priorities and strategic plan and submitted by NFAs addressing needs important in their context. 
  • Projects in collaboration with other partners may be submitted.
  • Countries with GNI (Gross National Income) of less than $12,475 USD
  • Projects must support empowering women and girls through education and leadership development, and not fund salaries

Funding Sources


Bina Roy receives support from organizations such as CFUW, the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund and other IFUW Members. In 2013, VGIF approved a $5,000 USD grant and  in 2012/13, CFUW contributed over $6,077. Your personal and/or club contributions forwarded to the national office for IWD allow CFUW to be a strong supporter of the BRIPD. Please continue your creative fundraising projects locally to support life changing initiatives for women and girls globally.


Raise Awareness


Let's start a trend today and use the most effective marketing strategies we have, "word of mouth" and social media, to promote BRPID. Talking about the exciting projects that have made a difference in the lives of women and girls over the years will raise awareness of the work that occurs internationally through the support of IFUW. The 2012/13 projects are documented on the IFUW website ( We can be confident that the IFUW's vision to provide women and girls all over the world with access to secondary, higher and continuing education is in action with BRPID.


Certificate of Recognition honouring CFUW's contributions to Bina Roy from IFUW




Cheryl Hayles,

Project Development Committee Member


Human Rights - Child Brides
Theme 4


The Panel presented the Issues of Early and Forced Marriages in Turkey with references to other countries including Canada.


Child marriages are considered to be child rape.  The child loses everything: education is halted, health is adversely affected due to early pregnancy and delivery, risk of violence is extremely high. In Turkey one in three are married as a child brides.   In 2009 Human Rights Watch stated 57% of married girls were under the age of 16.  To address the issue, there needs to be Legislation for Education Reform increasing compulsory schooling to 18 years  and ensuring that attendance includes to grade 12.  Child marriages need to be criminalized.  And the age of consent for marriage be raised to 18 with no exceptions. Currently Islamic  leaders are still performing these early marriages as a religious ceremony.


Western countries such as Canada need to be vigilant with immigration as attempts to bring in under age girls for marriage are already occurring.  If the first attempt has been thwarted, then application is made again when the girl is sixteen.  In the UN Secretary General's Report, there was only one mention of Child Brides under resources for education. The Turkish Association of University Women have started a Child Brides Project seeking solidarity with other women's associations including IFUW.

How can we in CFUW support the TAUW in their efforts to end child marriages and ensure this practice does not continue in Canada? 


Brenda Robertson

CFUW VP Ontario

Delegate to IFUW Triennial 2013 

The Genderization of the Convention against Torture (CAT) & Non-State Torture presented at 2013 IFUW Triennial, Istanbul, Turkey.


Jeanne Sarson & Linda MacDonald at their IFUW Workshop
Linda and I are most appreciative
 of the opportunity to share with others our experiences of 20 years exposing and explaining the global human right violation of torture perpetrated by private individuals or non-State actors.   



 The UN Charter declares women and men as equal human beings, therefore equally entitled to 'own' all the human rights articles written in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including article 5 which states "no one shall be subjected to torture".  However, article 5 has socially been viewed as the human right attached only to warring men. This position was reinforced by the 1984 UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and by the UN Committee against Torture until 2007 when the Committee began to acknowledge non-State torture and that the CAT applies to women and girls so tortured. This is the genderization of the CAT. It is now necessary for NGOs-for IFUW which passed a resolution on non-State Torture-and governments to ensure that national laws on torture apply to torture perpetrated by private individuals. 

An IFUW Workshop powerpoint slide


Educate Afghan Girls: Sustain the Nation
Inequalities in Educational Opportunities for Girls Jeopardize a Sustainable Future for Afghanistan


To build a sustainable Afghanistan, girls must be educated on an equal basis with boys. No country, let alone one ravaged by 30 years of war, can prosper without the productivity of half its citizens.The Afghan literacy scene is briefly reviewed. Key obstacles to girls' education are examined -poverty, early and forced marriages, insecurity, lack of family and community support, lack of female teachers, long distance to school, poor quality of education, no girls-only schools and harassment. Practical recommendations for improvement are shared. Although gains have been made, donors must listen to the Afghan people, plan and fund long-term, work with the Afghan Ministry of Education, co-ordinate with other aid partners, ensure aid reaches the Afghans, and deal with corruption and security. Examples of initiatives that can lead to sustainability are given. 


There is hope for a peaceful and sustainable Afghanistan if women are allowed to take their rightful place in that society. With the aid and encouragement of the international community the Afghan government needs to continue to invest in women's education. International women need to raise awareness of their plight in our communities and develop creative action to support them. Educate the women: sustain Afghanistan.
Hally Siddons (left) joined by Dr. Sima Samar (right), Chair of the 
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
Ideas for Action:  Developing Sustainable Education for Girls and Women in Afghanistan 


The workshop focused on the current realities of education for girls and women in Afghanistan and identified possible actions to overcome barriers eventually leading to a sustainable system and country. 
Dr. Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
Canada planned and chaired the 
session and partnered with the UK, USA, Australia and Rwanda. Dr. Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, educator and human rights activist brought invaluable Afghan perspective to the discussion as did Ms Nasima Rahmani, school director, lecturer of law and lead player in the development of an Afghan Graduate Women's Organization.
The issue is vastly important not only for the women of Afghanistan but for the peace and security of the international community. Women around the world have an opportunity and responsibility to support Afghan women as they work courageously to help themselves. There is much we can do. A panel of three shared successful actions already undertaken by their affiliates. Lively interaction in the breakout that followed brought further suggestions. 

This packed workshop will live on. An extensive report will be posted on the IFUW website and linked to a relevant seminar paper and resolution. Energetic support from both attendees and the IFUW president indicates it will take on an IFUW wide perspective. 

Visit to the Istanbul Justice Palace - Women's Rights Center of Istanbul 


Knowing that the Turkish  Association (TAUW) was keen on providing knowledge of legal rights to women in and Violence Against Women being an integral part of the Conference Theme, I participated in the "Visit to the Istanbul Justice Palace" to learn about the Women's Rights Center of Istanbul (established in 1995) which provides services for women  "unable to access legal representation due to economic, social and cultural obstacles" The building itself was worth a visit.....extremely modern with state of the art architecture and could have been placed in any part of the world..


With the usual Turkish hospitality we were welcomed to a room already prepared for us and though an interpreter were educated well about the role of the Women's Rights Center and the Unit on Prevention of Violence of the Istanbul Bar Association.


There are 7 legal aid offices in Istanbul staffed by pro bono attorneys all of whom undergo training before assignments. From a pamphlet handed to us, we note there were 8088 applications for assistance as of June 2013 and 6394 lawyers to assist them. Remember this is a city of 15 million!


The 20 branch TAUW have been very active taking a leading role in organizing awareness and law literacy seminars throughout the country, with implementation being emphasized. It has been a difficult journey and the proponents relied as we do on international Conventions for support. Turkey is making progress and in 2012 a new law promised more practical support and assistance  regardless of marital status and  the further establishment of local centers. 



Phyllis Scott,

Past Vice-President, IFUW


Financial Literacy Booklets: Going International


 The University Women's Club of Montreal's Financial Literacy Committee has gone "international" as 180 booklets titled "Beginning the Conversation" (Favoriser le dialogue, in French) were distributed at the International Federation of University Women's (IFUW) Triennial meeting in Istanbul, Turkey in August 2013.


Some of the NFAs that received copies: Japan, Rwanda, USA, Sweden, Australia, Germany, Fiji, Nigeria, France, New Zealand, Zambia, Netherlands, Spain, Sierra Leone, South Africa, India, Uganda, Finland, Niger and Afghanistan (affiliation requested).


The IFUW adopted a resolution on financial literacy for women at the Mexico City Triennial in 2010. Consequently, international interest in promoting this topic and using the booklets was conveyed to CFUW Coordinator for International Relations, Brenda Wallace. Regional VP for Québec, Liette Michaud, brought the booklets in a suitcase to Istanbul and distributed them with the assistance of CFUW Treasurer, Carol Hare, to the representatives of the 36 national affiliates attending the 2013 IFUW Triennial meeting.


Following the adoption of their resolution on financial literacy for women at the 2009 Canadian Federation of University Women's (CFUW) Annual General Meeting (AGM), the women who devised the Case Studies and related materials obtained a grant from the Education and Good Governance Fund of the Autorité des marchés financiers of Québec. With funding in spring 2011, they began to develop 15 bilingual case studies for discussions about financial life situations that face 45-years-and-older women. These documents were tested at the provincial level and at the CFUW AGM in St. John's in 2011. Printed copies were distributed at the 2012 CFUW AGM in Victoria, British Columbia.


Liette Michaud
Liette Michaud discussing the Financial Literacy Booklets with the delegation from Japan


Liette Michaud

CFUW VP Quebec

Delegate to IFUW Triennial 2013 

 Delegates in Istanbul declare the advance of women has stalled in many countries 


 Istanbul, Turkey, 22 August 2013 -- Conclusions from the triennial conference of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW), where some four hundred women from 53 countries gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, stated that the advance of women has stalled in many countries and called for further integrated policy and legislation in favour of secondary and higher education and the implementation of women's human rights.  
The conference was organised by the Turkish Association of University Women (TAUW) and IFUW around the theme of Women's role in achieving a sustainable future: Education, urbanisation, violence and human rights. High level speakers such as Şafak Pavey, Minister of Parliament in Turkey and International Woman of Courage Award recipient, Saniye Gulser Corat, Director of the Division for Gender Equality in the Office of the Director-General at UNESCO, Professor Yakin Erturk, member of the Council of Europe, Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), and Dr Sima Samar from Afghanistan were all present, as were many other respected women leaders. The general agreement was that a right that can not be exercised is not a right.

As Ms Pavey stated in her keynote speech, "a society can only be civilised if it provides its women and girls equal participation. I believe that our journey should steer more towards educational campaigns to clean cultural prejudices and introduce transparent accountable governance. The developments on women's fundamental rights and freedoms are buried in the "deep culture". I believe our only path to overcome this obstacle is through reconciling freedoms and traditions."

The conference participants recommend that secondary, higher, and lifelong education and women's rights be considered as indispensable in order to improve girls' and women's socio-economic, cultural and health status, thereby in turn improving the status of their children and families.

IFUW has therefore resolved that early and forced marriage is a form of human and children's rights violation, and children should be protected from incest, forced marriage and children's rights violations, and be entitled to violence-free family life. Women should be protected against violence, trafficking and exploitation, and all girls and women should have the right to safe access to education.  


The Turkish Press, 

August 22, 2013  


In This Issue
Message from Susan Murphy
Message from Catherine Bell - to CFUW
IFUW Welcome Letter
CFUW Delegation and their contributions
CFUW Members to IFUW Board and Committees
Proposals 1 & 2
Policy Resolutions at IFUW
Education Underpins Effective Change
Hegg Hoffet at IFUW
Bina Roy
Human Rights - Child Brides
Genderization of the Convention against Torture & Non-State Torture
IFUW Seminar: Educate Afghan Girls
IFUW Workshop: Ideas for Action
Visit to the Istanbul Justice Palace
Financial Literacy Booklets
IFUW Triennial Conference Rings Alarm Bells





Conference speeches, presentations, highlights and the opening ceremony is 



    The latest IFUW newsletter is also available here




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