News Archive

Save the Date

University Women of Europe together with Asociación de Mujeres Universitarias de Marbella Spain (AMUM) is  excited to invite you to our upcoming Meet and Greet event.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect with fellow members, expand your network, and have a great time together.

More information, including a detailed schedule and instructions, will be provided soon. Get ready to mark your calendar and join us for a memorable evening.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to contact the UWE Board.


We look forward to seeing you there and making this event a success.



16 Days of Activism

To mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) this year, Graduate Women International (GWI) created the “UNITE: Educate to End Violence against Women and Girls” 16-day poster campaign in collaboration with GWI members to raise awareness about GBV and its impact on education.

“In every GWI member lies a powerful advocate. Now, more than ever, each must see themselves as an advocate for the elimination of Gender – Based Violence. locally and globally. “
We embrace this initiative,  the chosen posters received from the GWI family throughout the 16 days are public on their social media channel,  happy to see some of them are from Europe.
The 16 Days of Activism is an annual international campaign starting on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ending on 10 December, International Human Rights Day.
Alongside the 16 Days Campaign is the recurring “Orange the World” movement that aims to brighten women and girls’ futures by eradicating GBV in all spheres of public and private life. In effect, the colour orange conveys dynamism and vibrancy that symbolise a positive future without Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG). This campaign is motivated by the 6 December 1989 tragic anti-feminist massacre that took place at the École Polytechnique University Montreal, an event that is representative of the wider societal (VAWG) concern. The movement gained its foothold in 1991 from activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute and continues to be used each year as a global organising strategy by individuals, institutions and organisations to call for the prevention and elimination of all forms of VAWG.
Furthermore in 2008, the United Nations Secretary-General launched the campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women by 2030, which runs parallel to the 16 Days of Activism. Every year, the UNITE Campaign focuses on a specific theme and this year’s is “UNiTE! Educate to End Violence Against Women and Girls.” GWI has been actively involved in this campaign. This year GWI organised a poster campaign to commemorate this day.

Memorandum of Understanding with FCEM

President of FCEM – Femmes Chefs D’Entreprises Mondiales,  Marie Christine Oghly and President of University Women of Europe, Anne Nègre, in the presence of Vice President of University Women of Europe, Pina Foti, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the FCEM Congress in Paris, on November 16 2023. 

Femmes Chefs Entreprises Monde – FCEM,  was founded in France  in 1945 at the end of World War II  and months before the United Nations, the Association quickly spread into other European countries and the other 5 continents. Today the network FCEM of women business leaders from is present in many countries and promotes international exchanges like UWE.  Their president is a member of AFFDU, French Association of Graduated Women.

“We appreciate the quality of the exchanges during the Erasmus project NETPOWER carried out together,  we met many common interests on the place of women in society. Their dynamism, their anchorage in the economic life, their ease to recruit members but also their participation in the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, are strong assets and we will continue the relationships established by signing this MOU.” Anne Nègre, UWE President.


24th plenary meeting of the Gender Equality Commission

UWE President Anne Nègre attended the 24th plenary meeting of the Gender Equality Commission (GEC)  held on 14-16 November in Strasbourg.  The meeting was focused on discussing and finalising the draft Gender Equality Strategy 2024-2029, which was voted and it has to be approved by the Committee of Ministers. 

This new Strategy will follow on from the current Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023 and provides the framework for the work of the Council of Europe and its member States in the field of gender equality for the coming years, to further support the implementation of existing standards and meet new emerging challenges through the development of new standards.

Exchanges of views with the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Síofra O’Leary, first woman chairing it and the President of the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO), Maria-Andriani Kostopoulou, were the highlights of this meeting. They noted that despite numerous policies in favor of women, there has been no reduction in gender-based violence. States must be more efficient from the first report of difficulties, facilitate access to justice, better train judicial personnel. They are aware of the very heavy burden that rests on women who have cases brought before their jurisdiction.

We salute the Human Rights Channel of the CoE and the page about sexism where can be found an useful questionnaire.

The GEC steers the Council of Europe’s intergovernmental work in the field of gender equality. It is composed of representatives of the 46 member States. Other states and organisations, including civil society organisations, are invited as participants or observers. Established to help mainstream gender equality into all Council of Europe policies and to bridge the gap between international commitments and women’s lived realities in Europe, the GEC oversees and supports the implementation of the Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Strategy.

Standout Woman Award 2023

UWE President Anne Nègre is honored to receive a letter of invitation regarding the awarding of the prestigious International  Standout Woman Award for her commitment to the empowerment of European women.

She is recognized for playing a key role for the gender gap in programs promoted by the Council of Europe, the European Union,  the European Women’s Lobby and other European governmental or non governmental organizations. Her vision of peace and emancipation through education has inspired many women and thanks to her passion and commitment, many significant results have been achieved.

The Award Ceremony will take place on 29 November 2023 in the Parliament of Rome.

Ursula von der Leyen pays tribute to women pioneers who supported the Women on Boards directive

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen  paid tribute  to the work done by the Global Board Ready Women (GBRW) Task Force which came into being in 2012 to support the directive to apply 40 % Gender Diversity Quotas for all publicly listed corporations in Europe proposed by former EC Vice President Viviane Reding,  during her third mandate from 2010 – 2014 as Commissioner for European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.

The GBRW Task Force brought together executive women leaders from the private, academic, and public sectors who refused to let stand the remark frequently made at the timethat “there were not enough qualified women to fill the Board Positions”. By enlisting top European Business Schools with their alumnae lists of C-level executives, corporate governance professors and Boards of Governors, filled with industry captains from around the world, they created a data base of more than 8000 Board Ready women, thus dispelling the myth that there were not enough women to fill the board positions. They also created the first global criteria for Independent Board Members, regardless of gender and applied these criteria in vetting the board ready women candidates presented for consideration by the European publicly listed corporations.


UWE President Anne Nègre, who is member since the beginning of the GBRW, joined this tribute taking place on the eve of the “Global Board Ready Women Leadership Conference” organized by Forté Foundation and Phoenix Executive in Brussels on 08 November to analyze the progress made by the initiative and to prepare the next generation of women corporate leaders.

Besides the Business Schools, the GBRW worked tirelessly with professional women associations, the Association of Executive Search Consultants, and the Forte Foundation to promote the “Women on Boards” Directivewhich came into law ten years after the GBRW began their work on 22 November 2022,

AFFDU / UWE Women’s Biography Award

The prize is created by the FrencAssociation of University Women (AFFDU) and by University Women of Europe (UWE).  This prize rewards a biography iFrench by an author on the lives of  women who have lived in France or abroad.

The Biography must be made available to the AFFDU/UWE Jury  before DECEMBER  31, 2023

The prize of the contest is the publication of the biography in French by Editions Ampelos.

The laureate undertakes to rework her biography for publication.

Biographies selected by the jury may be published online on the websites dedicated to this purpose.

The summaries of the biographies submitted for the prize are published online on the websites of the AFFDU and UWE associations, as well as on the Publisher’s website.



It is advisable to send the biographies, before DECEMBER 31, 2023:

In electronic file, with the format, a compressed first names, surnames
The text of 160 000 signs maximum (spaces included), the appendices can be a bibliography of 2 000 signs spaces included and 18 illustrations maximum in PDF format
A summary of the biography of 5,000characters (spaces included, without any footnotes, in Word format)
The summary must include a definition of the object of study, a brief presentation of the sources and the problematic as well as the main results of the research
In French, if the text also exists in another language, it can be attached specially in English
The author’s address and telephone number, email postal address
A C.V.
Authorization for publication by editionand on the web
If the author is a University graduate, she will become a member of AFFDU. If the author is not a University graduate, she will become a related member or will make a donation equivalent to the AFFDU membership fee. She will thus subscribe to the social objectives of AFFDU as well as those of UWE which inspire this contest.

To be sent, using a large file sharing and transfer service, to:



Each year, the jury is composed of personalities and is chaired by:




The decisions of the Jury are final andwithout appeal




October update Conference of INGO’s

To mark the International Day for Eradication of Poverty on  17 October, a meeting was held  around the slab in memory of the victims of poverty on October 10
, organized by the Council of Europe Conference of INGOs was the occasion of the inauguration of  the information board in english offered by the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the Council of Europe.  

President of University Women of Europe Anne Nègre attended, here in photo.

Some other updates about the activity of the Conference of INGO’s Council of Europe:  

A report of a  visit of the Conference of  INGO s  in Bosnia Herzegovina informs of how the country is separated inside, with all discriminations for specially the more vulnerable

A Communique by the Committee on the Rights of Persons in Migration on the situation in Nagorno Karabakh 


A communique of the  group on Human Rights and  Artificial Intelligence  – Armenia and Azerbaijan for a peaceful settlement respectful of minority rights was issued. 

The  Recommendation on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the education sector has been adopted  by the General Assembly on 11 October 2023 CONF/AG(2023)REC4. Anne Nègre  is part of the group in charge with that.

Prayer of the Mothers

The song “Prayer of the Mothers”, was born as a result of an alliance made between singer-songwriter Yael Deckelbaum, and a group of courageous women, leading the movement of “Women Wage Peace”.
The movement arose on summer 2014 during the escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, and the military operation “Tzuk Eitan”.
On October 4, 2016, Jewish and Arab women began with the joint “March of Hope” project. Thousands of women marched from the north of Israel to Jerusalem in a call for peace. A call that reached it’s peak on October 19th, in a march of at least 4,000 women half of them Palestinian, and Half Israeli, in Qasr el Yahud (on the northern Dead Sea), in a joint prayer for peace.  A great little miracle happened, almost completely ignored by the media.

The very same evening 15,000 women protested in front of the priministors house in Jerusalem.

The marches were joined by the Nobel Prize for Peace winner Leymah Gbowee, who lead to the end of the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003, by the joint force of women.

In the new official video “Prayer of Mothers” of the Women Wage Peace movement, Israeli singer Yael Deckelbaum sings the song  alongside women and mothers of all faiths, showing what music can change.

An all-female miracle worth a thousand words. Share it as much as you can!


25th Anniversary of the collective complaints procedure

The collective complaints procedure is a human rights protection system for social and economic rights which complements the judicial protection provided under the European Convention on Human Rights for civil and political rights. 

The collective complaints procedure is a unique form of collective legal action in the human rights protection system, reflecting a systemic approach in addressing social rights problems. This procedure encourages and provides guidance to states to resolve structural problems and shortcomings that prevent general and effective enjoyment of social rights by all the people living within their jurisdiction.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter Providing for a System of Collective Complaints (ETS No. 158) in 1998, the Social Rights Department of the Council of Europe was  hosting an event on July 6, 2032 in Strasbourg,  to discuss effective social rights protection in the European space.

On celebrating the 25th anniversary of the entry into effect of the collective complaints procedure, this event represents an unambiguous call on the Council of Europe members states that have not yet accepted it, to follow the example of the first 16 states that did so. Such acceptance will contribute to a more coherent legal space for the implementation of social rights in Europe.

Click HERE to see  the recording od the event 


Nobel economics prize awarded to Claudia Goldin for work on women’s pay

2023 Nobel economics prize has been awarded to Claudia Goldin, an American economic historian, for her work on women’s employment and pay.

Prof Goldin’s research uncovered key drivers behind the gender pay gap, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

The 77-year-old academic currently teaches labour market history at Harvard University in the US, she is only the third woman to receive the prize, and the first to not share the award with male colleagues.

She had “advanced our understanding of women’s labour market outcomes“, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said, pointing to her work examining 200 years of data on the US workforce, showing how and why gender differences in earnings and employment rates changed over time.

This year’s Laureate in the Economic Sciences, Claudia Goldin, provided the first comprehensive account of women’s earnings and labour market participation through the centuries,” the prize-giving body said in a statement.

Her research reveals the causes of change, as well as the main sources of the remaining gender gap.”

Her research found that married women started to work less after the arrival of industrialisation in the 1800s, but their employment picked up again in the 1900s as the service economy grew.

Higher educational levels for women and the contraceptive pill accelerated change, but the gender pay gap remained.

While historically that earnings difference between men and women could be blamed on educational choices made at a young age and career choices, Prof Goldin found that the current earnings gap was now largely due to the impact of having children.

Claudia Goldin’s discoveries have vast societal implications,” said Randi Hjalmarsson, a member of the committee awarding the prize.

She has shown us that the nature of this problem or the source of this underlying gender gap changes throughout history and with the course of development,” she said.

Describing her as “a detective“, Prof Hjalmarsson said her work had provided a foundation for policymakers in this area around the world.

Globally, about 50% of women participate in the labour market compared to 80% of men, but women earn less and are less likely to reach the top of the career ladder, the prize committee noted.

Prof Goldin was the first woman to receive tenure in Harvard’s economics department in 1989. Economics still had an image problem with women, she told the BBC in 2018.

Even before students enter university they believe economics is a field more oriented to finance and management and women are less interested in those than are men,” she said. If we explained economics was about “inequality, health, household behaviour, society, then there’d be a much greater balance,” she said.

The economics prize is different to the original prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace, which were established by Alfred Nobel and first awarded in 1901.

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1968 and funded by Sweden’s central bank.

Call for Proposals to Advance Climate Research in Brazil

Columbia University is inviting faculty members, postdocs, and doctoral students to submit proposals for climate-related research in Brazil, with a particular focus on Rio de Janeiro. The call, initiated by Columbia Global, builds on the success of a previous round of funding and seeks to address critical issues relating to urban sustainability, the green economy, and land use in Brazil.


Research Themes

We want to support research that helps address the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change. Priority given to proposals on climate finance, urban sustainability, innovation for the green economy, ocean science, land use and forest preservation in Rio, and impact on vulnerable populations. This RFP is part of the mandate of the new Climate Hub in Rio.


Award Categories

Grants for individual research and travel support to Brazil (up to $10,000 per award)
Workshop/small conference grants for proposal design and preparation (up to $20,000 per award)
Collaboration research awards (up to $25,000 per award)
Doctoral students and postdocs at Columbia University are invited to apply for awards of up to $10,000.



Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on December 4, 2023.


Application Q&A

Interested applicants are encouraged to attend a virtual question-and-answer event, which will be held at 4 p.m. EDT on October 31, 2023.

Register here.


To start the proposal process, visit the RFP information page.



New legislation affecting the university system in Spain

In April 2023, the new Organic Law of the University System (LOSU) came into force. This Law strengthens the university system and education at this level. Likewise, it ensures that the generation of critical knowledge, the human and professional preparation of young people, the development of research and innovation and its transfer to society continue being the foundational pillars of the university system. 

Among the many new measures, those aimed at reducing precarious employment in this sector stand out. The goal is to reduce temporary teaching staff from the current 40% to as low as 8%. The working conditions of Associate professors will also improve, turning their positions from temporary into indefinite. The measure will benefit more than 25,000 professors and will ensure their right to recognition of seniority, severance pay, etc. In addition, the figure of Substitute professor is added to replace professors that suspend their services.

Other key measures

The new Law proposes the commitment of a minimum expenditure of 1% of GDP. This increase is in line with the minimum of 5% of GDP agreed in the Law that regulates non-university levels (LOMLOE). This reform also advocates for the establishment of a maximum price for university public fees, thereby reducing the variation among autonomous communities.
The academic career of teaching and research staff will be more predictable and clearer, with three stages instead of the previous four: access, stabilization and promotion. Specifically, only ten years will go from the beginning of doctoral studies to stabilization, thus achieving a rejuvenation of the personnel. The entry age to the university career will be moved earlier, which may also attract international talent.
New principles for the evaluation of professors will be incorporated; these will be both qualitative and quantitative, and will consider the open access of publications, the territorial impact of research, linguistic plurality, professional experience, and the particularities of each academic discipline.


The LOSU is articulated within the context of the European Higher Education Area and this framework is present throughout its scope. LOSU incorporates, for the first time, a degree dedicated to internationalization. Government, autonomous communities and universities will develop strategies to internationalize the university system. The European, Euro-regional and international university alliances are reinforced, with the promotion of joint degrees.

The international mobility of the student body, together with that of research and teaching personnel, becomes a priority. In addition, study visas will be expedited to attract talent and, upon completion of undergraduate, master’s or postgraduate university studies, students will be eligible for a two-year visa to pursue internships or work.

Democratisation and Equality 

The new Law continues with the path already taken by the Law of University Coexistence, endowing the entire text with a set of rights and sensitivities that, until today, were not recognized. In terms of gender, all universities, public or private, will have to have equality plans, measures to eliminate the wage gap, and protocols against all kinds of harassment. Equality and Diversity Units will be mandatory, while all university bodies, and personnel evaluation or selection commissions, will guarantee a balanced composition between women and men. In addition, during recruitment processes, affirmative actions may be applied to hire, under equal conditions of suitability, the less represented gender.

Diversity Units will have a disability care service and a plan for inclusion and non-discrimination on the grounds of disability, ethnic and national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity, and for any other social or personal condition. Other measures include a reserve quota in public employment offers, sign language services to students, as well as other adaptations to people with intellectual or other disabilities.

The participation of students in governing bodies such as the Senate or the Faculty and Department Councils reaches a minimum of 25% in the LOSU when no percentage was guaranteed in the previous law. The LOSU contemplates the creation of the University Council, which will serve as the highest representation and coordination of students. The list of student rights established by this Law is also extensive, with the right to academic unemployment among the most important ones.

In short, the LOSU marks a new path for universities, with more autonomy and the necessary tools to face the changes that are taking place in society. The university system as a whole is reinforced to face the new challenges by adapting its perspectives in financing, innovation and re-evaluation of teaching; by focusing on the transfer of knowledge to society and setting the path already begun by the Ministry of Universities in matters related to the democratization of access, both in terms of rights and university autonomy.

For further information:

Source: Eurydice Unit Spain

Iranian Parliament approves “hijab bill”

The Iranian Parliament approved, on Wednesday September 20, a law discussed for several months which strengthens sanctions against women who do not wear the compulsory veil in public places, according to official media. The bill also provides financial sanctions for “promoting nudity” or “mocking the hijab” in the media and on social networks, as well as fines and bans on leaving the country for business owners whose employees do not wear a veil.

“The deputies approved the implementation of the bill on “hijab and chastity” for a trial period of three years,” indicated the official IRNA agency, while the government raised its tone, these recent months, against the growing number of women going out bareheaded, especially in big cities.

This toughens penalties for anyone prosecuted for violating the strict dress code imposed on women, one of the ideological pillars of the Islamic Republic.

The legislation defines new frameworks for how Iranians, especially women, need to conform to the country’s mandatory dress code that has been in place since shortly after the 1979 revolution.

For women, unacceptable covering has been defined as “revealing or tight clothing, or clothing that shows parts of the body lower than the neck or above the ankles or above the forearms”, according to the latest version of the legislation released in local media.

For men, it has been defined as “revealing clothing that shows parts of the body lower than the chest or above the ankles, or shoulders”.

To become law, the bill must be approved by the Council of Guardians of the Constitution, a powerful oversight body consisting of clerics and legal experts.Currently, appearing “in public without the Muslim veil” is punishable by “imprisonment of ten days to two months”.

This text is adopted four days after the first anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, who died on September 16, 2022 after her arrest by the moral police for allegedly violating the dress code. This death triggered a vast protest movement in the country.


International Equal Pay Day

International Equal Pay Day, celebrated on 18 September, represents the longstanding efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value. It further builds on the United Nations’ commitment to human rights and against all forms of discrimination, including discrimination against women and girls.

Across all regions, women are paid less than men, with the gender pay gap estimated at around 20 per cent globally. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls continue to be held back owing to the persistence of historical and structural unequal power relations between women and men, poverty and inequalities and disadvantages in access to resources and opportunities that limit women’s and girls’ capabilities. Progress on narrowing that gap has been slow. While equal pay for men and women has been widely endorsed, applying it in practice has been difficult.

Equal Pay is a recognized human right, to which all women and men are entitled. The Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) was the first international instrument on this issue. The Convention was adopted after the Second World War, during which women entered the labour force en masse and held the front line of production in many countries. Pay inequality was an obvious and measurable form of discrimination at work, and so the push for equal pay became an important first step towards wider gender equality in the labour market and society in general. The Convention was forward-looking for its time and remains relevant today, as full pay equity between women and men has still not been achieved.

In order to ensure that no one is left behind, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address the need to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Furthermore, the SDGs promote decent work and economic growth by seeking full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value. Mainstreaming of a gender perspective is crucial in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Achieving equal pay is an important milestone for human rights and gender equality. It takes the effort of the entire world community and more work remains to be done. The United Nations, including UN Women and the International Labour Organization (ILO) invites Members states and civil society, women’s and community-based organizations and feminist groups, as well as businesses and workers’ and employers’ organizations, to promote equal pay for work of equal value and the economic empowerment of women and girls.

Equal Pay International Coalition

The Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) is led by the ILO, UN Women, and OECD. The Coalition’s goal is to achieve equal pay for women and men everywhere. By bringing together a diverse set of actors with different areas of focus and expertise, EPIC supports governments, employers, workers, and their organizations to make concrete and coordinated progress towards this goal. EPIC is currently the only multi-stakeholder partnership working to reduce the gender pay gap at the global, regional and national levels.

Victory for survivors of prostitution

MEPs confirmed their abolitionist position and delivered a powerful message today as they voted in favour of the initiative report on the Regulation of prostitution in the EU: its cross-border implications and impact on gender equality and women’s rights drafted by S&D MEP Maria Noichl. With this vote, they made clear that prostitution is a form of violence and that implementing support and exit programmes for survivors is the best way to tackle it. This is a milestone for women in Europe as they account for 90% of persons in prostitution and 87% of victims of trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation purposes.

After months of mobilisation and a first positive vote in the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) on 27 June 2023, a majority of MEPs eventually confirmed the abolitionist stance of the European Parliament, following the steps of France, Sweden and Ireland, countries that proved to be efficient in reducing demand and cases of human trafficking. The report drafted by MEP Maria Noichl encourages Member States to adopt an abolitionist perspective that decriminalises persons in prostitution and highlights the negative effects of decriminalising the so-called “sex-buyers” and exploitative third parties. Even though we regret the removal of the demand for EU-wide measures introducing legislation based on the Nordic/Equality model, we welcome the MEPs’ overall commitment towards abolitionist measures.

“MEPs sent a strong signal for women, for Europe, for justice and equality by voting in favour of this report: it is a clear way of reaffirming that exploiting a woman’s body is not acceptable. They understood that it is not realistic to label prostitution as anything other than violence because it will never soften the harsh, sexist, classist and racist harm behind the purchase of sexual acts. Survivors cannot wait any longer, we stand by them and need robust and well-funded support and exit programmes now.” comments Mary Collins, Acting Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby.

Tackling the root causes of prostitution, the report particularly insists on the importance of guaranteeing health, social, educational and economic support to persons in prostitution as poverty and social exclusion are the foundation of this form of sexual exploitation. Therefore, not only does the abolitionist approach aim at guaranteeing survivors of prostitution tools to take their power, agency and autonomy back but it puts the burden of stigmatisation and shame on so-called “sex-buyers” who believe that freely given consent can be bought.

Protecting youth is also among MEPs priorities as the report underlines the negative impact of the normalisation of prostitution on the perceptions and expectations young people have in terms of sexuality and relationships between women and men. Studies undertaken in Sweden demonstrated a positive and significant shift in attitudes among boys and men after Sweden adopted the Equality Model. In the same vein, harmful stereotypes to be found in pornographic content and their impact on young people’s sexuality were also denounced in the report.

“This vote is a clear signal and relief for survivors of prostitution but also for all women and girls in Europe as it recognises prostitution as a form of violence that needs to be combatted and not promoted. We thank MEPs for standing with survivors and urge member states to swiftly implement the recommendations included in this report” concludes Iliana Balabanova, President of the European Women’s Lobby.

Civil society raises awareness on the Istanbul Convention in Bulgaria


The Bulgarian Platform European Women’s Lobby (Bulgarian Platform – EWL) has finalised a communication and advocacy project on the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence(Istanbul Convention).

It has run from November 2022 to June 2023 and is one of two projects selected in Bulgaria under the call for proposals and funded by the Council of Europe programme “Ending violence against women: multi-country programme”.



Bulgaria is still one of the few European countries that have not yet ratified the Istanbul Convention while domestic violence is an institutional issue and one in three women in Bulgaria is a victim of violence.

“Most of Bulgarian society believes that the Convention opens the door to same-sex marriages and to fostering the so-called ‘gender ideology’…same-sex marriages are not mentioned anywhere in the Istanbul Convention” European Women’s Lobby (EWL) President Iliana Balabanova said in a BTA interview.  “It only says that any victim of domestic violence or of gender-based violence has the right to protection, without distinction as to race, education, sexual orientation, etc. Even before the Convention was drafted Bulgaria adopted a Protection against Discrimination Act, which says precisely this: every person is entitled to protection against discrimination… that is precisely where I see the problem in power-holders at the national level, as well as on a global scale – using that manipulation of the public for the sole purpose of achieving their political goals” noted her.

The Bulgarian Platform – EWL project aimed to raise awareness about the values, aims, provisions and benefits of the Istanbul Convention among Bulgarian decision-makers and society.  The campaign was based on the methodology developed by the the Council of Europe Gender Equality Division, Women Against Violence Europe Network (WAVE) and  UN Women.
The Bulgarian Platform EWL reached over 3000 people and created a group of allies including politicians, public officials, academics, mass media, young people and civil society organisations.  Whereas changes in perceptions and attitudes don’t come overnight, the campaign helped to put the topic of combating violence against women and domestic violence in the Bulgarian new cabinet’s political agenda.  The project featured many activities including:
•    A Political forum in December 2022 in Sofia that gathered over 100 participants from European and Bulgarian institutions. It was organised in cooperation with the Bulgarian Fund for Women.
•    3 open letters sent to the Bulgarian politicians lobbying for the urgent adoption of legislation in line with the Council of Europe standards.
•    A conference “Protecting women’s and girls’ rights against domestic violence and gender-based violence” in March 2023 in Plovdiv, that gathered over 70 representatives of civil society, students and academics. It was organised in cooperation with the University of Plovdiv, and with the active support of the Gender Alternatives Foundation.
•    Many Council of Europe communication materials were adapted to the national context, translated, promoted and disseminated reaching over 1000 people.
•    A social media campaign reached over 2000 viewers.
“With the great contribution of the project, on 21 July 2023, after years of discussions, the Bulgarian Parliament adopted the amendments to the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence. The amendments include new protection and prevention measures that are in line with the Council of Europe standards on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence” said Illiana Balabanova, President of the Bulgarian Platform – EWL.
More information about the results of the project can be found here


A find amongst the Sybil Campbell Trust materials

Discovered in the Sybil Campbell were boxes of newspaper cuttings: obituaries of women. They are now in order in six very full lever arch files which will go to Goodenough College. Although somewhat random, they are a fascinating cross section of women of note (not necessarily generally well-known) who died between around 1994 and 2008.

Carrie de Silva has created a spreadsheet with all the names, with their relevant dates and profession/achievement.

If any are of interest to you, Carrie can scan the obituary across to you.

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International Youth Day is celebrated annually on 12 August and was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1999. This day aims to motivate young people to organise activities that increase awareness about youth issues in their country. The UN projects that almost 50% of the world’s population is under 30 years old and this number is expected to rise to 57% by the end of 2030. The 2023 theme is Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World. The UN defines “green skills” as “knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society”.  It is crucial to hear the voices of young people and invest in their growth and potential.

Embracing the 2023 theme, the Graduate Women International (GWI) Young Member Network (YMN) takes center stage with a video of important messages of commitment and calls to action from their network of young changemakers. Their short video features ten messages from GWI YMN members in Egypt, Ghana, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.A.

The GWI YMN is a group of proactive trailblazers from across the globe. They advocate and work together to empower young women to advance professional growth, share cultures, and foster global friendship. The network is dedicated to taking action towards a greener future and supporting the localisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their countries, communities, workplaces, and homes.

As advocates for positive change, the GWI YMN video delivers impactful messages encouraging positive change, emphasizing the importance of youth acquiring green skills, committing to a sustainable world, and prioritizing education. “As the world is transitioning towards a greener and sustainable future, inculcating green habits and green skills in young people is a significant step for achieving SDGs”, says Sudha Srivastava, GWI YMN President. “While green skills are relevant for people of all ages, they have heightened importance for younger people, who can contribute to the green transition for a longer period of time”, she adds.

Estimates indicate that 8.4 million green economy jobs will be created by 2030 (ILO). However, evidence highlights a shortage of green skills among young people. Amid pressing environmental concerns, GWI urges governments to address their education investment shortages and integrate green skills into education programmes with access by all youth. Education is the key to empowering learners to grasp human-environment interactions, emphasizing sustainable practices and renewable technology, and preparing youth for future careers. In line with a commitment to a greener world, the 2022 GWI General Assembly passed Resolution 8, affirming that A Clean, Healthy, and Sustainable Environment is a Human Right.

A historical look at 104 years of GWI

On 11 July we celebrate Graduate Women International (GWI)  and all of our achievements!  Happy Birthday to Us!

In 1919, Dean Virginia Gildersleeve, Professor Rose Sidgwick and Caroline Spurgeon came together in London with university women from Great Britian, Canada, and the United States of America to establish the International Federation of University Women (IFUW, now Graduate Women International (GWI)). They were convinced that by fostering friendship and understanding, women graduates could help prevent another catastrophe such as the World War that had just ended. It was a historic moment that marked the beginning of a movement to empower women in higher education.

We celebrate the 104th anniversary of GWI and honor the visionaries who founded this organization. Their legacy lives on, inspiring generations of women to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals.  More than a century later, and under the new name of Graduate Women International (GWI), thousands of women graduates throughout the world share the same principles and vision that inspired those early leaders. GWI continues to advocate in favour of secondary, higher, and continuing education for women all over the world.

Dr. Elizabeth M.E. Poskitt, a former president of GWI, has preserved the history of this remarkable organization in her archives, which can be accessed HERE .