President’s March Message

posted in: President's Message | 0

I hope you found the links about GWI in the February Newsletter helpful in learning more about our grandmother organization. More are after this message which I hope you will access and read. I attended both the Dialogues in January and found them mostly monologues defending the National Board decision to allow clubs to decide whether to support GWI. The 35 or so PowerPoint slides mainly explained how CFUW works with only one slide about GWI. I have attached the link for the slides so you can judge for yourself.  Slides from Dialogues Presentation

Questions were to be typed into the Chat and periodically summarized with answers. Frustratingly, many were not answered. I did spend much of last weekend reading the massive number of unedited chat comments emailed to me by a friend who took screen shots.

Here is one: Sample Comment

A summary of some of the questions with answers has just been sent with the February 19 Club Action News-letter and can be found here:  Q&A Summary If you are interested in having any remaining information from the dialogue sessions sent to you, please email me and I will forward anything I receive.

In the last 45 minutes of each session, we were invited to join breakout rooms to talk amongst ourselves, and these were the best part of the sessions. There were between 4 and 10 participants and we had too short a time to hear much of how other clubs were operating and hear reasons for their club’s inclinations. In one of my breakouts, a participant asked if GWI membership was worth the money when they only support six projects. I pointed out that GWI aims to make systemic change through its advocacy. Projects help only a few people in a specific place, but GWI also has permanent members monitoring and contributing to discussions in UN meetings in all four venues of Paris, Vienna, Geneva and New York, and since it is highly respected for its advocacy for education of women and girls, it speaks with the voice of 50 plus countries, whereas CFUW speaks for only one! I am glad to support GWI’s international advocacy so I can concentrate my efforts on our local and national issues.

Of course, the overriding question is what our dues will be going forward. I feel that the issue of dues is unnecessarily complicated and therefore allows for misunderstanding and misinterpretation. It is described on several of the Dialogue slides but here is what I understand: In February 2020, our club sent $76 of our dues per member to CFUW. This covers about $54.50 for National and $21.50 for GWI. The GWI portion pays for the January to December 2022 year. The rest pays for the National June 2021 to May 2022 year. The National Board claims that $21.50 isn’t enough to cover the GWI dues and that it has incurred a debt of about $9,000 for the 2020 year! Many club members disagree with the bookkeeping and thus the ongoing arguments. The dues can only be changed at an AGM, so unless the clubs vote for a dues increase next June, we will pay the same as always.

Another complicating factor is that only CFUW National is the member of GWI, and only clubs are part of CFUW National, not us as individual members. Our dues are dependent on how many women are in each club. This is why National wants to know how many clubs want to support the work of GWI. The National Board has been negotiating with the GWI board about dues and although they have not finalized anything, there is a suggestion that a sliding scale might be used, and if our Canadian numbers are about 6,000 members, our dues will remain about the same. The greater the number of opt-in club members, the lower the dues per club member. Another suggestion is that GWI dues might need to be raised about $5.00 starting in 2023. We should find out more at this year’s National AGM in June.

I believe the reason we need to vote our preference by March 31 is that National wants to estimate how many clubs will opt in so they can estimate what our GWI dues will be in 2023 after the results of the current negotiations. Your Executive is planning to have an electronic vote after the March General Meeting but the date has not yet been set. Please keep an eye out for an invite to vote via Survey Monkey sometime between March 9 and 31. The outcome of this vote is not written in stone and can be adjusted next November. Any questions? Please email them to me.

GWI Information:

GWI Projects:

GWI – The case for educating women:

Brochures: GWI Brochure; STEM Brochure

GWI Newsletter February 3 GWI Update

Sign up for GWI twice monthly newsletter: GWI Newsletter Sign-Up