News Archive

Congratulations to BFWG member Professor Cynthia Burek

On 6th May 2022 Professor Cynthia Burek received the Halstead Medal for 2022 from the Geologists’ Association.

This was for her outstanding contribution to furthering the aims of the Association, her contribution to Quaternary geology, to GeoConservation,  for her research on early female geologists and for her work towards gender equality in geology.

Halstead Medal

The Ida Smedley Maclean BFWG International Fellowship

The Ida Smedley Maclean BFWG International Fellowship has been awarded to: Elisa Genovesi at King's College London.

Elisa‘s Thesis is on: Development & pilot evaluation of a programme to help teachers support children with development disabilities in mainstream school settings in Ethiopia.

She was selected from a very strong set of candidates.

Out of interest the final list of 13 contained girls from 9 British universities. GWI has given 7 awards this year. This will be announced shortly on the GWI Fellowship website.

Find out more about Elisa

In Commemoration of International Women’s Day Sharing Traditions of How Women Celebrate

Two Canadian Clubs, CFUW Nepean and CFUW Ottawa, invite: Graduate Women International (GWI) members from around the world to take part in a Peer-to-Peer Conversation on the nature of celebrations across cultures. International Women’s Day is our day, so we wish to take this opportunity to learn about and appreciate each other, focusing on the contributions women make to the traditions and festivities that enrich our lives. This discussion will center on celebrations for, and/or created by, women. Participants are invited to bring an item to share during their conversations.


When: Mar 11, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

If you are unable to see the meeting details below, please log in to the BFWG website first.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

What is celebrated in your culture in which women play a central role? This might be a celebration for women or prepared by women and it might be a large festival or an intimate family gathering. For this interactive Peer-to Peer Conversation, you may wish to bring with you to share some aspect of a celebration in your culture – such as an object, photograph, piece of clothing, recipe, song, or story.

It is hoped that we will learn about the different roles that women play in celebrations across the globe. It is also hoped that we will better recognize the enduring commonalities that underlie our diverse traditions and appreciate why celebrations are important and meaningful in all of our lives.

Gender Equality and Climate Change

Side event in the margins of the 66th session of the commission on the status of women:

A global inter-generational perspective: civil society voices on gender equality and climate change

Main Organiser: UK Government and UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance

Date and Time:  Tuesday 15 March 3.00pm

Meeting Format: Virtual - Zoom

Here is the link for you to register (if you cannot see it, please log in to the BFWG website first)

Moderator: UK Government representative

Keynote speaker: Baroness Stedman-Scott (Minister for Women), United Kingdom

Panellists: Archie Young (COP26 lead negotiator on gender), Loris Taylor (Director Native Peoples Media project), Oluwaseyi Moejoh, Jocelyn Razafiarivoney (Anglican Communion), Kervelle Baird, Dr Anino Emuwa,  Divya Niwale, Jacynthia Murphy  & Sofia Hwenandez


  1. To understand differing perspectives, from across the world, on gender equality and climate change.
  2. To identify barriers to gender equality in the context of climate change
  3. Amplify civil society voices to share understanding of the impact of climate change and the ways for communities to build resilience.


Following a successful COP26, and in line with the priority theme of CSW66, the UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance and the UK Government are hosting this event to bring together a range of voices from different generations and different regions, to further the discourse on this issue based on their lived experience. We will explore individual and broader barriers to gender equality, with specific reference to the experience of women and girls with regard to climate change.

By listening to the conversations of women of all ages, we will benefit from their personal experience, and identify common trends to develop a global perspective.

International Women’s Day 2022 theme

Geneva, Switzerland, 8 March 2022

Since its emergence at the turn of the twentieth century, International Women's Day has evolved into a global rallying point to springboard the advancement of the rights and status of women and girls worldwide and all spheres of society. Observing the 2022 theme, "gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow", Graduate Women International (GWI) reaffirms the significance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, Women, Peace, and Security, as an indispensable factor for a sustainable tomorrow.

Resolution 1325 was passed unanimously by the United Nations Security Council on 31 October 2000. Twenty-two years later, the Preamble's recognition of the disparate impact of armed conflict on women and girls is more applicable than ever before. On International Women's Day, GWI takes the global stage to remind central international actors that Resolution 1325 emphatically imposes their obligation to promote and protect the rights and dignity of women and children during conflict during life phases.

The Resolution underscores that "effective institutional arrangements to guarantee their [women] protection and full participation in the peace process can significantly contribute to the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security". GWI reminds all states and international organisations of Resolution 1325 declaration of the importance of international humanitarian and human rights law in the protection of women and their rights and the Resolution's recommendations to ensure greater participation at all levels of women in the prevention and resolve of military conflicts.

GWI was founded in 1919 as worldwide organisation uniting university women, fostering friendship and understanding to help prevent another catastrophe such as World War I that had just ended. GWI has been promoting peace between all nations in the world for 103 years.

"We urge Russia to uphold the Resolution 1325 and United Nations Declaration of Human Rights which both Russia and Ukraine nations have signed to. In particular, Article 28 of the declaration: "Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized", says the GWI Board of Officers. "GWI, therefore, urges the respective parties to end this conflict peacefully and negotiate peace between the two nations", they added.

Graduate Women International (GWI) is a membership-based international NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland, with a presence in over 50 countries. Founded in 1919, GWI is the leading girls' and women's global organisation advocating for women's rights, equality, and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels. GWI has maintained special consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council since 1947 and is an NGO maintaining official relations with UNESCO and ILO.

Education is a Powerful Path to Gender Equality

Around the world, 743 million girls were pushed out of school as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. School closures due to COVID-19 have exacerbated gender inequalities, especially for the poorest women and girls. Since the beginning of the crisis, GWI has expressed concerns about the probable and pervasive gendered impacts of the pandemic on girl’s education. Education is a powerful path to gender equality, strengthening girls' skills, knowledge and power to challenge discriminatory gender norms.

Girls Education for Brighter Futures supporters help to fund the GWI Bina Roy Partners in Development (BRPID) programme. BRPID supports locally-developed and operated projects to empower women and girls through education and leadership development. The current projects focus on educating girls about recycling to combat environmental pollution (Ghana), empowering girls through education and income generating activities (Nepal), and training girls, parents, and teachers in the making of reusable sanitary pads (Uganda). To carry out these projects, GWI has partnered with Ghana Association of University Women (GAUW), Nepal Association of University Women (NAUW) and Association of University Women Uganda LTD.

In Ghana, at least 20%-30% of waste ends up in the water bodies, soil, and on the streets. However, recycling through the re-use of materials (particularly plastic), is shown to have a positive impact on environmental sustainability. The GWI project in Ghana will help girls to receive an education about environmental pollution and recycling plastic waste through workshops. Girls will put their knowledge to practice by collecting plastic waste to make flower pots and other basic building construction. Upon completion, the girls will be given the opportunity to sell their handiwork, providing them with a source of income.

In Nepal many girls marry early at 14-16 years old and have children at a young age. Therefore, most of these girls do not have the opportunity to complete their education. Teaching these women to read and write in the Nepali language will help them to be economically empowered through income generating activities, using the skills acquired in the training. This GWI project in Nepal is expected to benefit 40 illiterate women.

In Uganda, poverty rates are high in rural areas and many girls lack education in menstrual hygiene. As a result, girls do not attend school especially on the days when they have their periods and some girls drop out of school completely to get married. The aim of this project in Uganda is to increase girls’ retention in school, while training the community to acquire skills in making reusable sanitary pads. This will create a source of income and an improvement in the menstrual hygiene of young girls and women. This project is expected to benefit students, parents, teachers, and the community at large.

Graduate Women International (GWI) continues working tirelessly to coordinate and manage advocacy projects and initiatives on local, national and international levels. We need your help too. The generous donations to the GWI Girls’ Education for Brighter Futures contributes to supporting these projects. Contributions of any amount have made meaningful, positive impacts on the lives of women and girls around the world. Please reach out to anyone you know and invite them to donate as well. Your contributions matter, and we are sincerely grateful.

Take a stand with GWI to advocate for women and girls' right to an education. Donations to the Girls Education for Brighter Futures programme can be made HERE. 

GWI Bonus Webinar Education

GWI Bonus Webinar

Education and Covid-19: What are teaching and schools to be like going forward?

The GWI Education Committee organised a bonus webinar in the Autumn Webinar series on the 19th November 2020. Despite being early hours (7am) on a weekday, I was able to participate with Jenny Morley and some other BFWG members. Shirley Gillette, the convenor of the Education Committee, introduced the effects of Covid-19 and lockdown on learning institutions and overviewed the classical education theories – pedagogies from Plato to Vygotsky. The future of schools is likely to involve more online learning which will also change the job scenario at schools, involving more staff with technological skills. 

Shaila Rao Mistry from the STEM Institute California spoke about Responsive Education – a Futurist Perspective. Covid-19 has moved education to distance learning and exposed cataclysmic changes and social injustice by heavily relying on technology. Changing work forces need continuous learning. The current systemic gaps that we need to overcome are – perspective gap, capability gap, agility gap and delivery gap. The future is now, and the alternative model needs to be adapted. What can we do as GWI: advocacy, influence policy makers, interdisciplinary collaboration, cross-sector teamwork, serve in decision-making, global education projects, countries helping countries etc.?

The participants were randomly assigned to break-out groups for 15 minutes to discuss the questions mentioned below:

  1. What do you personally believe the main focus of education should be? What do you believe is the strongest: traditional classroom learning or IT based student led/directed learning?
  2. How has Covid-19 affected educational settings in schools in your experience?
  3. Future wise how do you imagine schools will look? What will be the role of teachers?

The groups had to assign a chair who could feedback into the main session. Summary of the key points from the groups:

  1. Sustainable blended learning/a hybrid model with classroom learning combined with online learning
  2. Socialising is necessary especially for young children who are learning the skill
  3. Laboratory based learning is difficult in online learning
  4. Teachers need to develop skills to deliver the hybrid model
  5. Discipline aspect of classroom will be critical
  6. Children from less advantaged background do not have access to resources for online learning
  7. Parents also needs to up-skill themselves to adapt to home-based online learning

Confidence Dikgole presented the South African context of the practical impact of Covid-19 on education policy. There are deeper socio-economic disparities and the schooling system contributed to the dilemma in policy positions. There are national policies for public and independent schools and developed with the influence of teacher unions as well as stakeholder consultations. 

The webinar was interesting – from theory of education to future of education and policy making. Food for thought as we face continuous lockdown situations resulting interruption on traditional education system in our country too! Break-out groups were fantastic, and Jenny Morley (BFWG CIR) mentioned that she particularly enjoyed the variety in her group. Recording of the event is available on request, please let me know if you need credentials to access it.

Sudha Srivastava

(Alternate CIR)


2020 Scholarship Awards for Women Doctoral Students

Scholarship Awards for Women Doctoral Students for the year 2020/2021

BFWG Prizes are awarded in competition to female 3rd Year Ph.D. students of any nationality studying at a British University.

The Majorie Shaw Prize

Dr Majorie Shaw was Senior Lecturer in the Department of French at Sheffield University, and warden of a hall of residence. She was a member of the Academic Awards Committee and a Vice-President of the Federation.

Grahaigh Cordwell, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford

£4,000 scholarship awarded for research into:

 Music, Humanitarianism & the Syrian refugee experience.

Kathleen Hall Prize

Dr Kathleen Hall had a particular interest in the education of girls and women in or from countries of low per capita income. She was secretary of the Academic Awards Committee.

Julia Modern, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge

£4,000 scholarship awarded for research into

The Disability Rights Movement in Bunyoro, Uganda:  Human Rights, Value and Negotiations of Belonging.

Eila Campbell Prize

Eila Campbell (1915-1994) was a leading figure in the study of Geography, and in BFUW. She became a long-standing member of the Academic Awards Committee. She was a stalwart of Birkbeck College, starting as an undergraduate while working as a teacher. She liked to boast that there was no job in the Department of Geography that she had not tackled, working her way through posts as demonstrator, assistant lecturer, full lecturer, and in 1970 Professor of Geography and Head of Department and, after retirement, Emeritus Professor.

Nefeli Pirée Iliou, Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford/p>

£4,000 scholarship awarded for research into

Constructing Roman Rural Estate in a north western Greek setting.  Rural economy and society in Roman Epirus ca. 2nd Century BC to 4th Century AD.

M H Joseph Prize

Miss Helen Joseph was an early graduate of Bedford College, London, and set up a prize for students of architecture or engineering in 1962.

Catherine Richards, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

£4,000 scholarship awarded for research into

The existential threat of climate change, societal collapse as a novel lens for tangible communications and risk-based prioritisation of interventions.

May Whiteley Prize

May Whiteley (1866-1956) was an important figure in the history of women in chemistry in the UK. Together with Ida Smedley Maclean she spearheaded the movement for women to gain admission to the Chemical Society. May Whiteley spent her entire career at Imperial College, ultimately becoming Assistant Professor of Chemistry. During the First World War she led a team of women chemists to synthesise beta-eucaine, a local anaesthetic, for which she was awarded on OBE.

Cristina Cecchetti, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London

£2,000 scholarship awarded for research into

Structural & functional studies of plant and fungal secondary active transporters.

Johnstone & Florence Stoney Prize

Florence and Edith Stoney were two of the more remarkable figures from the early days of the Federation, even amongst a group of such remarkable women. They were the daughters of Johnstone Stoney, professor of physics at Trinity College, Dublin, and best known for introducing the term ‘electron’. Florence, born in 1870 became the UK’s first female radiologist founding the x-ray departments at both the Royal Free and the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson hospitals in London. Edith, two years younger, studied mathematics at Newnham College, Cambridge, achieving the position of 17th wrangler (but of course no degree). She became head of physics at the London School of Medicine for Women. Edith was a founder member of BFUW and became its first Treasurer in 1909. Florence was also an early member.

Stephanie Doebl, Institute of Applied Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition, University of Aberdeen

£2,000 scholarship awarded for research into

Designing effective healthcare services for patients with fibromyalgia.

Ruth Bowden Prize

Professor Ruth Bowden was the first woman to become the Sir William Collins Professor of Anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons. She was a member of the BFWG Academic Awards Committee and the IFUW Fellowships Committee.

Elizabeth Evens, Institute of the Americas, University College London

£2,000 scholarship awarded for research into

‘Regulating Women’:  Professional women and the surveillance of female reproduction and sexuality in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Margaret K B Day Prize

Margaret (Peggy) Day read physics at St Hilda’s Oxford, and the pursued a career in industry. She was Treasurer of BFWG.

Daniela Köck, Department of Physics & Astronomy, School of Mathematical &Y Physical Sciences, University of Sussex

£2,000 scholarship awarded for research into

Search for supersymmetry at ATLAS in final states with tau leptons.

Eleanor Rathbone Prize

Eleanor Rathbone (May 1872 to January 1946) was an independent British member of parliament and long-term campaigner for family allowance and for women’s rights. She was a member of the noted Rathbone family of Liverpool.

Denied an Oxford degree by her gender, she was one of the steamboat ladies who travelled to Ireland between 1904 and 1907 to receive an ad eundem University of Dublin degree (at Trinity College Dublin). In 1905 she assisted in establishing the School of Social Science at the University of Liverpool, where she lectured in public administration.

In 1897, Rathbone became the Honorary Secretary of the Liverpool Women's Suffrage Society Executive Committee in which she focussed on campaigning for women to get the right to vote.

Nahema Marchal, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

£2,000 scholarship awarded for research into

Feeds of discord?  Exploring the implications of online political communications for affective polarisation.

Beryl Mavis Green Prize

Dr Beryl Green was a head teacher before gaining a PhD in architecture. She was deeply religious and had a great love of the fine arts.

Nicôle Meehan, School of Art History, Museum & Gallery Studies

£2,000 scholarship awarded for research into

The digital museum object & transcultural memory after the post-digital turn.

Mary Bradburn Prize

Dr Mary Bradburn was a mathematician, who spent most of her academic life in the mathematics department of Royal Holloway College. She was also convener of the Academic Awards Committee.

Christina Zou, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford

£2,000 scholarship awarded for research into

Existence, construction and optimality of solutions to the Skorokhod embedding problem for Markov processes.

100 year anniversary of the formal admission of women at Oxford University

Women were first granted full membership to the University on 7 October 1920 and then, one week later, were given the right to be awarded degrees.

Women students who had been denied a degree since the late 1870s began to return to the University to claim them.

To mark the importance of this event in Oxford’s history, the ‘Women Making History Centenary’ campaign will run throughout this academic year, across the colleges and University.

Young Members Network Virtual Townhall Meeting

GWI YMN hosted a virtual Townhall meeting on Saturday 3rd October 2020. There were about 60 participants registered from across the globe.

The session started with the opening remarks by GWI Executive Director, Stacy Dry Lara, followed by GWI Vice-President Eileen Focke-Bakker. Eileen reminded us a strong history of the GWI and founding members in 1919 – Dean Virginia Gildersleeve, Rose Sidgwick and Professor Caroline Spurgeon (the first President of IFUW). The founders believed that by fostering friendship and understanding we could create a peaceful, just and fair society.

GWI YMN Vice-President, Sudha Srivastava, welcomed the young members and observers on behalf of the YMN Board. She provided a brief history and purpose of the YMN, its mission and the current leadership. She elaborated the purpose of the meeting – to understand common and diverse issues arising for GWI young members around the globe during COVID-19.

The meeting further led by another member of the YMN board to discuss the three themes in breakout rooms:

  1. Opportunities provided by COVID-19
  2. New Challenges arising from COVID-19
  3. Existing issues that COVID-19 has made more challenging

The result from the breakout summaries showed members having mostly common experiences. To summarise:

  1. Opportunities:
  • Mostly felt that the pandemic provided the opportunity to have more quality time with family especially young children
  • Technological innovations to help keep going
  • Businesses saving money by going virtual
  • New virtual learning opportunities
  1. Challenges:
  • Balancing education, work and family life
  • Job losses
  • Keeping up with technology and less resources in poorer areas
  1. Existing issues worsened during COVID-19:
  • Rise in domestic violence cases
  •  Rise in divorce cases
  • Increased sexual violence
  • Kidnapping (especially mentioned by a member from Nigeria where poverty and job loss made it worse during COVID-19 that kidnapping increased to get ransom)

A poll was created to find out the priorities for YMN to work on this triennium. Options listed below:

  • Mentorship programme (to both learn and teach, flexible short- or long-term connections, also intergenerational)
  • Boot camp/conference for YMN (an in-person meeting for YMN to come together and focus on a specific theme)
  • Virtual meetings/quarterly town halls (regular meetings in this format, focused on particular themes or outcomes of this meeting
  • Advocacy campaigns (driven by and relevant to YMN)
  • Contributing to GWI policy/position papers (in particular, develop a YMN position paper to officially embed the YMN within the GWI constitution)

Most people voted for virtual meetings option followed by mentorship and policy papers.

The meeting was one of its kind and provided opportunity for young members to come together to get to know each other and share common experiences. Concluded with a message that even living in a restricted world, women are unstoppable!

Sudha Srivastava,

Alternate CIR/CER


World Teacher’s Day

5th October 2020
Every year, Graduate Women International (GWI) joins the international community in celebrating World Teachers' Day (WTD). Since 1994, WTD celebrates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which set forth the rights and responsibilities of teachers as well as their standards of employment and work.

WTD further commemorates the adoption of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the status of highereducation teaching personnel, which sets forth the rights and responsibilities of higher education teaching and research personnel.

GWI Membership Marketplace Launch

Thank you again for your participation in the GWI Membership Marketplace Launch Webinar on Saturday 12 September 2020! We were excited to see to see such great participation and enthusiasm for the Membership Marketplace.

Thank you to all who filled out the satisfaction survey. Overall, 86% of participants rated the GWI Membership Marketplace Pilot Programme as “Excellent” or “Very Good”.


Below are the slides and chat transcript of the webinar.

The full recording of the webinar is available HERE.


If you cannot see the password for the video below,  please login to view it.


Student earns prestigious award

Stefanie Doebl - awarded the 2020 British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) Johnstone & Florence Stoney Prize.

Stefanie Doebl has earned a prestigious award for her work on ‘misunderstood’ pain syndrome.


An Aberdeen student has been awarded a prestigious prize recognising ‘outstanding academic excellence in postgraduate researchers’ for her work on one of the least understood pain syndromes in medicine today.

Stefanie Doebl, who is in the third year of a PhD based in the Epidemiology Group within the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, was awarded the 2020 British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) Johnstone & Florence Stoney Prize.

She was selected for the award for the quality of her research into fibromyalgia, a chronic condition which causes pain around the body, muscle stiffness and fatigue.

It is estimated that between 1.5-2 million people in the UK suffer from fibromyalgia but it remains poorly understood. There is no cure for fibromyalgia but there are therapeutic treatments that can reduce the impact of fibromyalgia symptoms on a person’s life.

Stefanie conducted a range of interviews and a survey with people with fibromyalgia with the aim of finding new ways to improve healthcare delivery for patients.

She drew on her background as a social worker to better understand the experiences of those with the chronic condition.

Stefanie said: “I spent more than a decade in social work with much of the time focused on primary health care and community mental health. I wanted to use my knowledge and experiences for health services research.

“It quickly became apparent that when it comes to designing better healthcare services, there is a real need for improvement for those with fibromyalgia. There is still limited awareness and understanding about this condition, its impact on people’s lives and their healthcare needs.”

Stefanie, who was able to embark on her PhD thanks to an Institute of Applied Health Sciences (IAHS) Studentship and Elphinstone Scholarship from the University of Aberdeen, was interviewed by a panel of distinguished women from a range of academic and professional fields before being selected as an award recipient.
She added: “It felt amazing and really special to me personally to be chosen whilst competing with incredibly talented female students across all fields of research.

“Despite the competition, it was a very friendly atmosphere and it has been an honour to see my work chosen by a panel made up of such inspirational women.

“I am delighted that they saw the importance and value of my research and its potential to have a really positive impact on healthcare delivery for fibromyalgia.”

The Prize follows a long line of awards for Stefanie, who is only the second person in her extended family to go to university, and the first to undertake a PhD.

Last year she won the inaugural Images of Research competition hosted by the Postgraduate Research School at the University of Aberdeen and was shortlisted for the 2020 Principal's Excellence Awards.

“Up until a few years ago, I never imagined I would do research but while working in primary health care social work, I realised the very limited research available for my field and saw the potential to improve this. Allied health professionals have an enormous amount of knowledge, skills and experiences which could help to improve services across the whole healthcare system.

“But I couldn’t have done it without the IAHS Studentship and Elphinstone Scholarship. I’ve also been awarded IAHS Staff Development funds twice to enable me to present at conferences and received a Santander Mobility Award 2020 from the University of Aberdeen. These kinds of support and the BFWG award have allowed me to take my PhD journey even further.”

“The support from my supervisors has been amazing and I would encourage other allied health professionals thinking about doing research to go for it. Having people from a variety of professions makes health services research stronger and more representative.”

Stefanie’s supervisors Professor Gary Macfarlane and Dr Rosemary Hollick said: “We are delighted at this award for Stefanie which reflects the fact that her study is the first of its kind in this common condition and the fact that she has worked incredibly hard”.

Stefanie’s research provides the foundation for a major programme of work, namely ‘PAtient-centred Care for Fibromyalgia: New pathway Design’ (PACFIND), which aims to develop a new model of care for fibromyalgia not only in the UK but also internationally. The wider study was awarded a £1.3 million programme grant from Versus Arthritis (formerly Arthritis Research UK). Further, Stefanie’s qualitative interviews will be used to construct a new section for fibromyalgia on the award-winning website

BFWG Scholarship Fund

Urban Security Governance in Janakpur, Nepal

Mireille Widmer
PhD researcher


GWI/BFWG Majorie Shaw Fellowship 2019

BFWG Research Proposal approved

BFWG Research proposal has been approved and now we need you!

As already announced the BFWG theme for the year has been - Bias against women in the workplace and how education can help them to overcome it.

We now have approval to proceed and the research title is :

Women's experience of bias in the workplace: the impact of education - an exploratory study.

We are looking for:

1. Women who are working and have some responsibility for others, not themselves being brand new to the world of work.

2. Companies that offer anti-bias training,  either in-house to their employees or commercially offering taught programmed or online ones on overcoming and understanding bias for a variety of companies and work situations.

3. YOU! Please can you ask around for friends or family who have been subjected as a woman, to biased responses at work.

Please could you interview 1 person or 1 company representative in your area. The forms, consent paper, research explanations on how to conduct a case study interview, a guidance paper for interviewers and a report form for your findings are already prepared and ready for use.

NB We are not including university women as we found out a great deal about their problems last year. We need women from other types of employment who have some experience in their jobs.

Report forms for findings are ready too. This venture could really be of interest to Independents who told me at last year's AGM that BFWG should be more involved in national concerns about women. Here is your opportunity to be involved and make a difference.

It is not important to have undertaken research previously, just to be ready to have a go and enjoy listening to another woman's story.

Please contact me with offers of help or questions but please consider getting involved Looking forward to hearing from you I hope many will have a go as many hands etc.

The results - we hope to publish and report at a conference and also to do a press release.

Contact me

International fundraising

Canterbury LA: international fund-raising
Canterbury LA: international fund-raising

In recent years, Canterbury’s international fund-raising has focused on the Hegg Hoffet fund, largely thanks to Christel Moor holding an event every International Women’s Day. In 2018, we raised £278 for HH, in 2019 we raised £115 for HH & this year we have raised £100 for HH. The photos taken by Edwina Neal show an event at Christel’s home.

The Hegg-Hoffet Fund

The Hegg-Hoffet Fund helps refugee graduate women to work in their new country by funding a necessary course, such as professional upgrade or language training.  It is administered by a Committee of Graduate Women International and the funds are held by them in Geneva.

The money comes from the shop held at the GWI Triennial Conference and from donations from members around the world.  It is a valuable part of GWI’s work on a very personal basis and a way for members to take part wherever they live.

In BFWG, the Bring and Buy or the Raffle at the AGM and Conference is allocated to the Hegg-Hoffet Fund, while Christel Moor collects on behalf of the Fund and welcomes contributions at any time from Regions, Local Associations or individual members.

Further details are at

Dame Mary Beard in conversation

Dame Mary Beard in conversation with BFWG video

If you would like to view the Mary Beard video recording, please email Sarah Claydon at and she will send you a link to the Zoom video.

The video format is mp4 file and as the file is almost 1GB you may be unable to view it on some devices.

4.30pm - 6pm, Tuesday 28th July 2020

Members only

We are delighted to be able to invite you to take part in an online event with Dame Mary Beard, one of the country’s best known academics.  Mary, Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, is author of numerous books and papers, well known from television appearances and received a damehood in 2018 for services to classical civilisations.

Mary’s first major book was Rome in the Late Republic (1985) and her last How Do We Look? The Eye of Faith (2018) with many significant works in between on classical civilisations and their art.  And beyond the classics her works include The Good Working Mother’s Guide (1989), Women and Power: A Manifesto (2017) and some of her famous blogs in book form, It’s a Don’s Life (2009) and All in a Don’s Day (2012).  I know many of you will be more than familiar with her work and long running blog/pieces in the Times Literary Supplement and there is a plethora online.

The event will be based around questions, sent in ahead to me, which will be put on behalf of members by our President, Patrice Wellesley-Cole.  There should also be an opportunity to put further questions at the time as discussion develops.

Where a question is put by one person, their name (and LA/location) will be read out by Patrice.  Where similar questions are put by a number of members I will draft the final form and we won’t, if you don’t mind, run through multiple names.  On booking, along with the event link, I will send a very short Zoom meeting protocol, to ensure that the whole thing runs as smoothly as possible, whilst giving members a voice.