Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out



									                                                                                                Circular 13/2010
                                                                                                     October 2010

To:               National Presidents and CIRs
From:             IFUW Membership Committee
Subject:          Survey on NFA Advocacy

The IFUW Membership Committee is carrying out the attached survey on advocacy within
national federations and associations (NFAs) as a contribution to increasing the effectiveness of
our advocacy at the national and international levels, which will in turn increase our visibility.

Advocacy examples would include any actions you take to influence the policy and budget
decisions of your national, regional or local governments, as well as efforts to raise community
awareness about a particular issue.

In this survey we are not asking so much for an inventory of what advocacy action you have
taken over the past triennium, but rather we are seeking information as to how you have done
your advocacy work.

Thank you for your participation in this questionnaire. Please return your completed
questionnaire to before 12 November 2010.

IFUW Advocacy Team
September 2010

    International Federation of University Women | Fédération Internationale des Femmes Diplômées des Universités
 10, rue du Lac, 1207 Geneva, Switzerland; Tel: (+4122) 731 23 80; Fax: (+4122) 738 04 40;;
                                    NFA ADVOCACY SURVEY
Advocacy includes any actions you take to influence the policy and budget decisions of your
national, regional or local governments, as well as efforts to raise community awareness about a
particular issue.

1. When you undertake Advocacy work as a national federation or association (NFA), which of
   the following approaches do you use? Please put an X beside any that are relevant and
   provide examples of whom you contact.

             X Write letters
               Examples of contacts: Nationally - Cabinet Ministers of the Government of
               Canada and the Opposition Critics; Regionally – Cabinet Ministers of the
               Provincial Legislatures and the relevant critics; Locally – Members of Parliament
               in the ridings of the local CFUW Clubs

            X Make telephone calls
              Examples of contacts: Setting up meetings with Government leaders or critics,
              with organizations with whom CFUW works in partnership or coalition;
              teleconferences for meetings with partner organizations where a CFUW
              representative cannot attend the meeting in person

             X Send e-mails
               Examples of contacts: Same contacts as in “Write letters” since CFUW sends
               email letters in order to comment quickly on the issue and then follows up with a
               hard copy of the letter; email correspondence with partners and collaborators
               (e.g. FAFIA (Feminist Alliance for International Action), the Ad Hoc Coalition for
               Women’s Equality and Human Rights, Peacebuild, Amnesty International
               Canada, Voices/Voix, GEAR campaign, People’s Summit on the G8/G20, UNCSW
               listservs including CFUW partnership work on women’s issues with labour
               organizations such as the CLC (Canadian Labour Congress) and PSAC (Public
               Service Alliance Union)

             X Sign petitions
               Examples of contacts: GEAR Campaign petition on the Gender Entity, UNIFEM’s
               Say NO Campaign; signatory to: Joint Letter on the UN Declaration on the Rights
               of Indigenous Peoples, Joint Statement on Human Right to Peace, CEDAW’s
               General Recommendation on Older Women, Global Leaders Council Statement
               on Reproductive Rights, International Peace Building Strategy (from Peacebuild)

            X Make personal representations
              Examples of contacts: Visits with Government leaders, Ministers, Opposition
              Party leaders and Government bureaucrats; appearance/presentation as witness
              before House of Commons Standing Committees; demonstrations, walks, press
              conferences etc. on Parliament Hill; meetings with partners with whom CFUW

            X Other (please specify)

IFUW Circular 13/2010                                                                      Page 2
                Examples of contacts: Media contacts for CFUW Press Releases; locally –
                appearances on local television, articles in local newspapers, appearances at
                local council meetings or open meetings for candidates during elections (to ask
                questions on issues of concern to CFUW), organizing “Meet the Candidates”
                Forums, and/or partnering with like-minded women’s organizations in
                candidate forums; nationally/internationally - representation at the UNCSW
                meetings and the Canadian Education Committee of UNESCO (CFUW has special
                consultative status with the UN), liaison with Canadian diplomats at the UNCSW

                CFUW issues Press Releases and posts CFUW Statements on key issues - in
                particular regarding items that are prominent in the news or that highlight
                special days such as the International Day of Peace, the anniversary of significant
                events such as the Beijing Platform for Action and UNSCR 1325, December 6th
                Commemorative Meetings during 16 Days of Action, International Women’s Day

                CFUW participates in federal Pre-Budget consultation meetings that are held in
                Ottawa and in various locations across the country. Organizations apply to
                present their position and views.

2. Do you collaborate with other organisations?         X Yes        No
   If yes, please list the other organisations:
     CFUW works with over 30 organizations that include:
          The Ad Hoc Coalition for Women’s Equality and Human Rights (of which we are a
              charter member since 2006 when the Government removed all mention of
              “equality” from the mandate of Status of Women Canada and cut funding to women’s
              groups who do advocacy and research)
          Voices/Voix
          Friends of 1325
          Peacebuild
          Amnesty International Canada
          Coalition for Gun Control
          The Canadian Network Against Nuclear Weapons (CNANW)
          CARE Canada
          Oxfam
          YWCA
          Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)
          Public sector labour unions (e.g. Canadian Labour Congress and Public Service
              Alliance of Canada)
          Global Campaign for Education for All
          GEAR Campaign (Gender Equality Architecture Reform)
          Federación de Asociaciones de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (re
              Human Right to Peace following the Luarca Declaration)

IFUW Circular 13/2010                                                                        Page 3
3. Within the context of your own country, are you able to undertake Advocacy work freely
   without     any     external   restrictions    (i.e.    outside   of   your     NFA)?
    x Yes      x No (Both yes and no are intentionally indicated)

   If no, please describe the kinds of restrictions you face.

   Because CFUW is a self-funded organization, it is not in danger of losing government funding
   and having its operations severely restricted or even shut down as has been the case with
   many former partners of CFUW such as the National Association of Women and the Law
   (NAWL) and the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW).

   Although CFUW maintains its non-partisan stance, it has been challenging over the last four
   years to meet with the party in power. CFUW meets on a regular basis with Members of
   Parliament in the opposition parties. CFUW is concerned about the erosion of democratic
   rights in Canada including that of free speech. CFUW is working as a charter member of a
   group that has named itself Voices/Voix and that identifies “threats to democracy” and calls
   for action to try to reverse this disturbing trend in Canada.

   Internally, CFUW faces the dual challenges of geography and finances that can restrict our
   attendance at federal government meetings.

   If there are restrictions, are there ways in which IFUW could assist you, e.g. by providing a
   letter of intent / by calling for NFAs to participate in an activity, etc.?

   IFUW positions can reinforce us in the positions CFUW takes nationally and internationally
   on various issues, and the positions CFUW takes with Canadian diplomats at the UN.

IFUW Circular 13/2010                                                                     Page 4
4. If you do not undertake advocacy work, what are the main reasons?

5. If you do undertake advocacy work:

   a. What are the main reasons for your NFA doing this?

   The purpose of the Canadian Federation of University Women, as outlined in Article II of its
   Constitution, identifies advocacy as a prime reason for its existence:

                   improving and promoting education

                   participating in public affairs

                   serving the community at the local, national and international levels

                   advancing the economic, legal and professional status of women

                   taking action in concert with IFUW to effect change at the international level.

   b. How successful has your advocacy work been?

   CFUW is known nationally to the Government Ministers with whom we meet on issues and to
   the Opposition critics. The critics in particular encourage CFUW to bring issues forward, to
   alert them to our concerns and to share our research findings. In return they bring forward
   our concerns in the House of Commons, call us as a witness before House of Commons
   Standing Committees where our views are recorded in Hansard and televised via the
   parliamentary channel CPAC.

   CFUW was instrumental in the landmines ban, in the Gender Entity campaign within Canada,
   in the work to retain the Canadian Gun Registry and in the recent release of the Canadian
   Action Plan on UNSCR 1325.

   Advocacy takes great patience, as many years can pass with constant vigilance and advocacy
   action on the same issue – for example, CFUW has been working for pay equity since 1922
   and on a national child care plan since 1972, yet there is still a distance to go. We celebrate
   small gains along the way towards the greater goals.

IFUW Circular 13/2010                                                                         Page 5
   c. Which method has proven to be the most successful?

            The most successful internal method is the combined efforts of national and
             grassroots Club advocacy on issues, where Members of Parliament are contacted
             either personally or through letters/emails, where the media is alerted or used in
             order to get the message to the public, and at a time when the issue is a “hot topic”
             either in Parliament or in the media (or both). The importance of CFUW Clubs in
             building relationships with their Members of Parliament stresses to
             Parliamentarians across the country that women in Canada are united on the issues
             and are calling for action.

            The most successful external method is collaboration with other
             nationally/internationally-respected and like-minded organizations for increased
             voice and critical mass on issues. CFUW is recognized by these other organizations
             as representing an important constituency- educated women in every province
             across the country - and is sought as a signatory for the endorsement of letters and
             statements ranging from the Joint Statement on the Human Right to Peace to
             CEDAW's General Recommendation on Older Women. CFUW simply does not have
             the staff or voluntary personnel to be drafting such a wide variety of statements on
             our own, although we follow up with our own CFUW letters and statements when

6. Does your NFA act on IFUW Resolutions?       X   Yes        No

   If no, what are the main reasons for not doing so?

   If yes, in what way?

    IFUW resolutions are treated in the same manner as CFUW resolutions in that they become
    part of the CFUW Brief to the Government and toolkit of sample letters for Clubs to use with
    their local Members of Parliament. IFUW resolutions are posted in the CFUW Policy Book
    On-Line and are used as needed for advocacy and action.

7. If yes, what resolutions adopted at the 2007 Conference have you acted upon and what were
   the results? (Please add additional pages, if necessary.)

Four of the IFUW Policy Resolutions and one of the 88th Council Resolutions received prominent
attention through CFUW advocacy and action, and through an update to our CFUW By-Laws.

IFUW Circular 13/2010                                                                       Page 6
       One very prominent resolution was one that CFUW brought forward to IFUW as an
        emergency resolution: A High-Level Women’s Agency for the United Nations. We wrote
        to our Government and Members of Parliament, we were active charter members of the
        GEAR Campaign, we raised the issue at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the
        UNCSW sessions, and we encouraged our Minister of Foreign Affairs to encourage other
        UN Member States to vote in favour of the resolution to form the Gender Entity with the
        result that he made a statement that was carried by the media. The Gender Entity was
       Another prominent focus was the resolution on Commitment to the UN Millennium
        Development Goals where CFUW took many actions on all eight MDGs (see details in the
        CFUW       Quadrennial    Report     to    the    UN      2010    (pp    5    -7)    at
        These actions included work at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, stressing the
        importance of Education for All, and working in collaboration with other organizations
        that formed the People’s Summit in the lead-up to the G8/G20 Summit in Canada in June

       A third prominent resolution for CFUW action was United Nations Peacekeeping on
        which we took action on two fronts: child soldiers and UNSCR 1325. We advocated to
        our Government, calling for women’s participation in all aspects of peace processes, and
        calling on the Government to write the UN-requested National Action Plan on 1325.
        CFUW is a member of “Friends of 1325” that combines the collaborative work of some
        NGOs and Government bureaucrats in outlining the items that we would like in the
        Action Plan. On October 5, 2010 the Government suddenly released its Plan. Our work
        now will be examining the Plan for completeness and in holding the Government
        accountable for its commitment to UNSCR 1325. CFUW adopted a resolution in July
        2010 to support UNSCRS 1820, 1882, 1888 and 1889 that expand and strengthen 1325.
        UNSCR 1882 on children, peace and security is included since CFUW would like the
        Government to include peace for girls and in particular girl child soldiers in its peace
        strategies. We also called on the Government to insert UNSCR 1882, 1888 and 1889 into
        the resolution that was debated at the 2010 UNCSW Session in New York City. They
        inserted 1888 and 1889 but did not include 1882 on children, possibly because Canada
        has an unresolved issue with a Canadian child soldier case.
       The fourth resolution, Global Warming, was part of CFUW’s advocacy to the Government
        in the lead-up to the Copenhagen Conference on Climate in December 2009.
       The 88th Council Resolution that was most prominent in CFUW concerned the IFUW
        Academic Qualifications. CFUW adjusted its By-Laws to incorporate the expanded
        criteria for membership.

IFUW Circular 13/2010                                                                     Page 7

To top