GWI + CFUW National
Dues Increase LATEST NEWS


Graduate Women International (Formely International Federation of Women) is undergoing some major changes. 

CFUW Victoria called an open meeting for all members on January 19, 2016 to provide an opportunity to share information and discuss the relationships of CFUW locally, nationally and internationally. This meeting was prompted by our collective concerns about changes underway at GWI and the relationship between CFUW and GWI. Eleven CFUW Victoria members attended and collectively wrote this document (names included at the end of the document).

We appreciate the work done by our national and international volunteers and staff and in no way wish our comments to be taken as criticism. Rather we present this letter respectfully in the hopes that it will help foster some positive next steps.

At our meeting, members expressed their concern about the current tension between our national and international organizations.  We understand that both organizations are feeling under threat and worry about the continued viability of both organizations. However, we also feel that at times the communication we have received has neither provided the information that we need nor been presented professionally or constructively. We want to turn that around and support open, transparent, and mutually respectful communication.

Some issues that came up during the discussion are:

  • GWI is bigger than the sum of its parts and CFUW is a major part of GWI. All members need to have an opportunity to be part of a plan to go forward.
  • CFUW members have responsibilities at the local, national and global levels.
  • We need a clear statement of purpose for CFUW and GWI at a local, national and international level.
  • We have struggled to access information from CFUW and GWI and to find a process to share this information.
  • The current online forum through the CFUW website does not seem to be linking with members.Weneed to find another way to get input from all CFUW members before the CFUW report on relations with GWI is released in April.
  • At the Istanbul Triennial, members supported a ‘go forward’ plan of restructuring and a refocus for GWI. We do not have a clear picture of those how those changes were implemented and what the outcomes have been.

Common Concerns:

  • Lack of clear, concise, accurate and easily accessible information.
  • Lack of clarity and transparency on GWI projects, their timelines and expected project outcomes.
  • The unsatisfactory financial management in GWI that has resulted in what appears to be depletion in endowed scholarship resources.


  • We expect timely, clear and informative communication from both CFUW and GWI.
  • We expect transparent reporting of finances a¬¬¬nd financial transactions.
  • We would like a clear timeline of next steps in terms of revitalizing GWI within the current resources and how CFUW members can be involved.
  • We want a full accounting at the 2016 Triennial of progress against the goals that were set at the 2013 Triennial.
  • We would like to see the GWI budget projections for the next three years. Understanding where GWI is financially will help a CFUW plan next steps.

Specific questions for CFUW:

  1. What are the key issues for GWI and CFUW from CFUW’s perspective? We need to know more about the resources and challenges to be able to support both organizations.
  1. It is important to sustain NFAs like CFUW. What plans does CFUW National have to support increased membership across Canada?
  1. Could we delay any decisions on CFUW’s next steps until the Triennial Meetings in August 2016 when we expect to receive GWI’s Triennial report and to enable all members to be apprised of what progress GWI has made to date?

Specific questions for GWI:

  1. What are the key issues for GWI and CFUW from GWI’s perspective? We need to know more about the resources and challenges to be able to support the organizations.
  1. Will CFUW dues be increased to cover shortfalls due to withdrawal of Germany and the Netherlands? How does GWI plan to adjust its budget accordingly?
  1. Could we have a clear accounting of the GWI scholarships over the last 5 years? We want to see how the funds have evolved over this time.
  1. Why does CFUW only have 10 votes in GWI when it has over one third of the membership total and supplies about 40% (or more) of GWI funds? Did Tracy have an update of these figures?
  1. The proposed changes of the GWI by-laws appear hurried. Will there be transparency and adequate timing for discussion of them before the Cape Town Triennial?

We have asked that this note be shared with CFUW clubs across Canada to let them know of our concerns and to encourage them to join the discussion.  GWI and CFUW are too important for us to be complacent.

Respectfully submitted by Bea Baker, Brenda Canitz, Gloria Dorrance, Dawn Jones, Jill Leslie, Valerie MacDevitt, Paddy McGowan, Tracey Otto, Susan Simpson, Audrey Thomas, June Whitmore (in alphabetical order).


Click here for the RESPONSE FROM CFUW National

Final Report on GWI Voting Procedure January 2016

What happened to Proposals One and Two in 2013


Click here for the RESPONSE FROM GWI



Resolution to withdraw from GWI

2016 Proposed Amendments to CFUW Articles and Bylaws: Read the Report to Clubs here.


Motion 2:  Withdrawal of CFUW from Graduate Women International (GWI) formerly known as International Federation of University Women (IFUW) as a National Federation or Association (NFA) member

Proposer:  CFUW St. Thomas

Moved that: In Canadian Federation of University Women Articles and Bylaws – Articles, strike out Article 4 - Membership in International Federation of University Women (IFUW)


Please read the GWI President's letter dated February 29, 2016 : Click here


Friends of GWI Information : Click here


March 05, 2016 :

Cost of a GWI Membership from a Canadian perspective : Click here


March 08, 2016 :

1. CFUW National answers our questions: Click here

2. Looking at the cost of GWI membership – Friends of GWI: Click here

3. Message to Current CFUW Presidents – Past Presidents: Click here

4. Musing from our members – Myrtle Siebert – Our vision: Click here and Personal thoughts: Click here

5. Power Point Presentation from Audrey Thomas and Susan Simpson: Click here



March 13, 2016 :

Membership Dues Rate Increase Proposed by GWI Board of Officers to begin in 2017

CFUW has received a GWI resolution on a dues increase to be voted on at the 2016 Triennial in Cape Town. The per capita dues rate to be paid by CFUW starting in 2017 would be 30 CHF per capita. CFUW currently pays 15.5 CHF per capita. CFUW paid a total of $172,697 this year for GWI dues. Using the exchange rate of February 19, 2016 at 1.40, the number of 8,055 CFUW degreed members for this year, CFUW would pay $338,310 in dues to GWI beginning in 2017. Based on the CFUW estimated budget for 2016-2017 of $718,255, the GWI dues would constitute 47% of CFUW’s annual budget.
In view of this resolution which has serious financial implications for the future of CFUW, some hard decisions will have to be made at the CFUW 2016 AGM in St. Catharines. In preparation for this discussion, the CFUW Board will be issuing a pre-budget consultation paper which will be available in March.

Get Background Information on Proposed GWI Dues Increase:

  • GWI Circular 3/2016 Resolution on a Dues Increase: click here
  • GWI Dues Increase Rationale: click here
  • GWI Finance Committee recommendations: click here

Visit GWI's website for more information.
View the GWI's 2014 annual report
View the IFUW’s 2013 Annual report
View GWI Updates and newsletter


March 27, 2016 :

GWI President's Letter dated March 24, 2016: click here


March 31, 2016 :

More Q&A from Comox and Parksville Qualicum: click here


April 5, 2016 :

Report on 2016 CFUW Bylaws Amendments and Proposed GWI Dues Increase (from CFUW Vancouver): click here

Power Point Presentation from Audrey Thomas and Susan Simpson: click here


April 18, 2016 :

1. CFUW Discussion Forum Report –  follow the 2015 AGM in Quebec City, CFUW National hosted a on line discussion forum for members to discuss the issues
2. Responses from GWI to questions posed by CFUW Stratford:
CFUW Stratford questions and GWI Responses
3. Information against the resolution to withdraw from GWI: Friends of GWI
Susan Russell’s presentation – Ottawa
4. Information in support of the resolution to withdraw from GWI: CFUW St Thomas
• Proposers response CFUW St Thomas
Proposers Response to Stratford Regarding Benefits
Proposers Response to Stratford Comments regarding Finances
First St Thomas Response to Stratford Advocacy Committee’s Response to Motion to Withdraw from GWI


April 19, 2016 :

GWI Action Plan and Budget 2017-2019


March 17, 2017

Stratford Club's comparison of costs