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CFUW National President’s Message

April 10, 2017

This message is being sent as Clubs are preparing for the 2017 AGM and Conference being hosted by CFUW Richmond June 23-25 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, Richmond, B.C. Jean Garnett and her Local Arrangements Committee have organized exciting tours and a marvellous program for the June 24th Learning and Development Day centered on the theme “Gateways”. The information on registration, accommodations, and the AGM and conference documents are all online HERE with additional documentation being added as it becomes available.

GWI Dues Review
I wish first to review and update the situation with the GWI dues increase which passed at the GWI August Triennium and later met with mixed reaction from GWI member National Federations or Associations (NFAs) including CFUW. Faced with the possibility of loosing membership, and the need to acknowledge NFA’s many difficulties with the new dues, GWI responded on December 21,2016 by stating “That after much deliberation, we have decided to do away with the increase.” On January 17, 2017 it was announced, “Since the GA had voted for the increase and the Board could not overturn the increase, all the Board has done is defer the increase.” It was also announced at that time that a committee would be formed to “thoughtfully discuss this issue.”

The GWI Constitution states:

Art.V al. 1 The supreme authority of GWI shall be vested in the General Assembly, which shall have authority to make decisions at meetings in person and by electronic means.

Art.X al. 2 National federations and associations shall pay annual dues to GWI at a rate to be determined by the triennial General Assembly (GA). The amount of dues shall be reviewed at every triennial GA.
Art. X al. 4 Any proposal affecting the rate of the annual dues shall be sent to national federations and associations four months before the meeting of the triennial General Assembly at which a vote on the proposal is taken.

The GWI Board was planning to meet on April 9th to approve formation of a committee that will be tasked with deciding on the dues increases (among other issues). The GWI Board plans an announcement regarding the committee soon after. Although the final report of this committee will not be due until July, Geeta Desai, GWI President, stated in a meeting held March 17, 2017 with myself as CFUW President, VP International Relations, Cheryl Hayles, and GWI Executive Director, Stacy Dry Lara, that a preliminary report on the future of the dues increase will be made available to CFUW before our June 2017 AGM. Please note that CFUW has paid all of its 2017 GWI dues but not the increase.

Club preparations for Voting at the AGM
While relevant background information on the Resolutions and the proposed Articles and Bylaw motion has been circulated for members to consider in their decision-making, Clubs and other voting delegates are missing vital financial information on possible GWI dues increases. This information will impact on the CFUW 2017-2018 CFUW draft budget, which includes CFUW dues, and to the motion to amend the Articles and Bylaws to delete membership in GWI.

When we get information from GWI on possible dues increases it will be shared with you immediately. Most likely this will occur after your regular Club meetings have finished but before your voting delegate has left for the AGM. We appreciate that this complicates the AGM planning of Clubs particularly with respect to decisions on voting.

The vote on the Articles and Bylaw motion
For many voting delegates the GWI dues increase will be one factor affecting their vote on the this motion. The result of the motion decides if we are required to have mandatory membership in GWI enshrined in our Articles and Bylaws, and this in turn affects the draft budget. Consequently, the Articles and Bylaw motion will be scheduled ahead of the budget on the business agenda. Procedure provides time for debate

The CFUW Draft Budget for May 1, 2017-April 30, 2018
The Finance Committee has begun preparation of the draft budget for the next fiscal year. A major challenge is to deal with the uncertainties associated with the amount of funding needed for possible GWI dues. Knowing if CFUW is or is not a member of GWI will affect the budget discussion and the vote. It is planned to write the draft budget to provide for three eventualities: (1) CFUW as a member of GWI with GWI fees for the 2017-2018 year as they are now; (2) CFUW as a member of GWI with increased dues; and (3) CFUW not a member of GWI and consequently with no GWI dues.

Should any voting delegate wish to move a motion at the AGM to make any change in the membership fee currently paid to CFUW, a motion will need to be made and this is possible because the “blank” motion was forwarded to you earlier within the timelines prescribed. To see questions raised by members, the responses, and to ask questions on this topic please go to “Ask the Parliamentarian”.

After the 2017 AGM
The Board has been asked “what-if” questions, should CFUW not be a member of GWI after the 2017 AGM.

We hope that all current members will retain their CFUW membership regardless of decisions about GWI membership made at the AGM. If, however, a CFUW member wished to be a GWI member even if CFUW were not, this would be a situation for GWI to manage and administer, not CFUW. The GWI Constitution lists categories of membership where an individual due could be paid. Alternatively, another NFA might be formed in Canada as was done in the USA so that a CFUW member could belong to both CFUW and to a new NFA that has membership in GWI. The administration of such an NFA would not be CFUW’s responsibility. Other related questions are being considered by the Board.

Other news
1. After many suggestions from Clubs, and as a cost-cutting measure, we plan to hold the 2018 AGM as an electronic meeting. As details are finalized we will share them with you.
2. The CFUW Discussion Board is being re-activated and information will be posted.
3. The report of the CFUW delegates to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, UN CSW, and the notes of the meeting with the GWI President on March 17, 2017 are both being posted.
4. The International Relations Committee has welcomed a new member, Dr. Saôde Savary from Montreal,

Best wish to all as you prepare for the AGM and continue with your Club programs!
With all best wishes,

Grace Hollett
CFUW National President – FCFDU Présidente nationale
The Power of Women Working Together
La puissance au féminin: ensemble pour réussir


CFUW advocates for women’s equality in Canada and abroad, and is concerned with a wide range of other public policy issues important to women, including: aboriginal affairs, education, the environment, peace, justice and human rights, among others. CFUW advocacy is guided by the policies voted on by CFUW members every year at our Annual General Meeting. These policies come from the grassroots of our organization and are the result of extensive research, debate, and consultation. At the national level, we monitor federal legislation and policies and stay in contact with the Government of Canada and other government officials to communicate our members’ views.

View National website at:

Club Support Document

by Karen Dunnett, VP Membership

As the Club year begins, it is good to remind ourselves of all the benefits of being a CFUW Club member.

This list can help us remember them. You can customize it to your Club too, and include it with your membership renewal material, add it to a club email, newsletter, or make it part of your Club opening greetings!
Why be a CFUW Member?


Where, for the cost of a membership, could you claim to be a member of a national women’s organization with close to 10,000 members?


Where, for the cost of a membership, could you claim to support a national organization that presents briefs to the Provincial and Federal governments annually outlining our current policies and advocates for:

  • equality for women and girls
  • a strong educational system
  • the protection of human rights.

Where, for the cost of a membership, could you claim, through CFUW’s affiliation with IFUW, to:

  • support women and girls throughout the world
  • have a voice and influence through its UN advocacy, stressing education and the status of women
  • be offered hospitality afforded CFUW members travelling abroad
  • be able to form links of friendships between global affiliates.

Where, for the cost of a membership, could you be part of support to the over $85,000 per year in national Fellowships awarded for graduate level studies (Clubs across Canada gave one million dollars in scholarship and awards)?


I know that you are well aware that it takes money to do all of these things. Besides the money, many women volunteer their time and expertise to promote these values and do this work. I am happy there are such women who can, and I for one, am happy to support their efforts on my behalf.


The quote below was once said to a women’s graduating class. I think it exemplifies why we need to support an organization like CFUW.


“Your degree does not belong to its present tenant alone. Your education was lent to you by women of the past, and you will give some back to living women and to your daughters seven generations from now”.


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