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GWI Update 30 November 2016
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GWI Update 30 November 2016                                                                                            click here for a printable version
GWI staff in Geneva dressed
in orange to mark the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women



— Graduate Women International news —
Turkey Association of University Women (TAUW) Campaigns against Government Bill
Women’s groups, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society in Turkey and around the world were stunned by the Turkish government’s bill put forth recently that would legitimise statutory rape and encourage the practice of taking child brides. The bill would lower the age of sexual consent from 15 years to 12 years and allow men convicted of child sexual assault to go free if they married their victims. The Graduate Women International (GWI) national affiliate, TAUW, has been actively campaigning against the bill and is calling for its complete withdrawal. TAUW, along with GWI, are among the 172 NGOs who have signed a joint statement that declares they “will not accept a bill that legitimises ‘rape’ of women and children.” Civil society united to take quick and powerful action which compelled the Turkish government to withdraw the bill. TAUW continues to advocate on behalf of women's rights by working with civil society and other NGOs to make sure that all women and girls are protected.

— GWI member news — 

The Kenya Association of University Women (KAUW) contributes to food security for girls and women
The Kenya Association of University Women (KAUW) has helped 15 poverty-stricken households to be food secure. Often when families are lacking food security, girls are forced to drop out of school in order to earn extra income to ensure their families do not starve. Supporting food security efforts has allowed, KAUW to help 15 young girls continue their education. KAUW, with funding from the Bina Roy Foundation, enabled these girls and their families to grow vegetables and other crops sustainably. Food insecurity is an often overlooked barrier to girls’ education and with programmes like KAUW`s, more girls will be able to remain in school.

— Advocacy —

Plan International prevents 2,000 child marriages in Bangladesh
Child marriage is a violation of child rights and, though prohibited by international law, millions of young girls are forced into marriage each year. According to UNICEF, child marriage is formal marriage or informal union before the age of 18. Child marriage is formal marriage or informal union before the age of 18. Often girls who are forced into child marriage dropout of school. Fortunately, since 2014 Plan International has prevented 2,000 child marriages in Bangladesh. Plan International’s aim is to continue encouraging the government, communities and girls to work together to eradicate all forms of child marriage. Ending child marriage will allow more girls to continue their education and contribute to their country’s economic and social development.

—  Events —

Celebrate Human Rights Day on 10 December
Human Rights Day is recognised each year on 10 December, in remembrance to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations (UN) encourages people around the world to advocate and to defend the rights of all those at risk of discrimination or violence. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated “It’s time for each of us to step up for human rights. There is no action that is too small: wherever you are, you can make a difference. Together, let’s take a stand for more humanity.” GWI encourages all members to take this advice and to campaign on behalf of someone who cannot do so for themselves, particularly women and girls.


As a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, GWI is sincerely grateful for all donations received from the wills of members and patrons, which make a significant difference in enabling advocacy activities and projects. By leaving a gift in your will to GWI, you are supporting the organisation to continue its mission to increase access to lifelong education for girls and women globally. Please remember to update your legacy to GWI if you have already made one for IFUW.               
— Other information and events
Nov.        25 - Dec. 10      16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign
Dec.         3   
GWI Geneva Headquarters runs the Escalade Geneva, Switzerland
Dec.       7 - 8
Girls CHARGE Annual Strategy and Research Release, Brookings Institution in Washington, DC
Dec 10 International Human Rights Day
Feb.     23 Policy Conference on Women in the Workplace London, United Kingdom

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Empowering women and girls through lifelong education for leadership, decision-making and peace. GWI is in special consultative status with ECOSOC and is an NGO maintaining official relations with UNESCO.

Graduate Women International
10, rue du Lac, CH-1207 Geneva, Switzerland;  Tel: (+41 22) 731 23 80
E-mail: gwi@graduatewomen.org    Website:  www.graduatewomen.org
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