News and events

08 August 2022 - 4:04pm

CIR Report July 2022


July 2022

I was very pleased to hear that the ZOOM with Ronna and one of the Centenary Pacific scholarship recipients that I organized was successful. It is a satisfying ending for the work involved for all of us on the Executive. As I have had contact with both I can imagine the warmth and passion in the interchange.

There are two significant pieces of international news.

First, a reflection/report post the GWI proposed vote for new resolutions.  This report by president Terri Oudraad (below) outlines the rationale for the suggestions as an outcome of the meetings run by Geeta Desai for the organisational development(OD) group. This group, which consisted of representatives of most of the NFAs, had monthly meetings in their region it was a kind of “thinktank” which reflected, analysed and problem solved aspects of the current and past GWI and looked to the future. Possible new directions such as an expanded board will result from the proposed motions.

Second for the future. In November this year 2022, it is the GWI triennium conference and business meeting. Usually, this is hosted by a member country and in person, however(sadly-my personal opinion) it is virtual. I am lucky enough to have attended four such conferences all in amazing places. The business sessions in person are quite riveting. For the conference part members present papers and workshops. The workshops are put in by the NFAs and there is only one per country. The call for these went out some time ago and we have several from GWO members plus a joint one between NZ and Sierra Leone. This is exciting. The registration is now open: please see the link below.


- Shirley Gillett(CIR)



To download the print version of this letter, click HERE.
Please click 
HERE to access the official Simply Voting results.

20 June 2022
Dear NFA Presidents, CIRs and Members,

I hope that you and your family are well. I am writing to share the voting particulars and results of the recent Graduate Women International (GWI) recent General Assembly (GA) vote on the Internal Resolutions 1 and 2 - to consider as urgent the renewal and rebuilding of GWI Headquarters and its National Federations and Associations (NFAs), and Constitutional Resolution 1 - to support our sharper focus on Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) which is Inclusive, Quality and Equal Education.

To enhance our collective understanding of this vote, I briefly recall, below, the events that led up to this vote:

In June 2021, the GWI Board spoke with you about its goals for the organisation, based on its belief that graduate women could play a vital role in the expansion of SDG 4 in their respective countries.

The goals were: 1) to build working relationships with United Nations (UN) agencies and other national efforts in SDG 4 implementation; 2) to seek funding from global funders for our NFAs and Headquarters on the basis of these relationships.

To facilitate this process, we asked for your approval of and participation in an Organisational Development process that would explore the possibilities of accomplishing these goals.

During this process a series of in-depth discussions with representatives of our NFAs revealed that while there, indeed, was an accelerated opportunity for graduate women to work with external stakeholders, our NFAs would require renewal and rebuilding in many organisational aspects, including membership recruitment; outcomes – based work; accountability to external stakeholders and leadership development, in order for their members to carry out this role.

The Rationale for a General Assembly (GA) Vote: 
In view of these findings and given the enormous dimensions of this renewal and rebuilding undertaking, and the volunteer effort that would have to be mobilized for its successful accomplishment, the Board thought it best to formally ask you, our NFAs, for a commitment to a wholehearted and urgent participation in this renewal and rebuilding 
(Internal Resolutions 1 and 2) as well as for approval of a Constitutional Resolution to support the goal of a sharper focus on a new body of work (Constitutional Resolution 1).

Results of the Vote:
As a follow up to the 
official Simply Voting results distributed to voting delegates on 4 June 2022, results of GWI Urgent General Assembly Electronic Vote on Board of Officers Internal Resolutions 1 and 2, and Constitutional Resolution 1 held on 1-3 June 2022 are as per the attached official results from Simply Voting and summarized for you below:


NFA Nos.

Delegates Nos.

Eligible NFAs and Delegates plus Board members for GA voting



Quorum one-third of the eligible NFAs & delegates plus Board members



Registered credentials eligible NFAs & delegates plus Board members



GWI Board of Officers Internal Resolution
In favour 44; Opposed 1; Total 45
GWI Board of Officers Internal Resolution I Approved
GWI Board of Officers Internal Resolution 2
In favour 44; Opposed 1; Total 45
GWI Board of Officers Internal Resolution 2 Approved
Constitutional Resolution 1
In favour 43; Opposed 2; Total 45
Constitutional Resolution 1 Approved
The official Simply Voting results can be accessed 
Our Understanding of the Vote:
Many thanks to all the NFAs who provided voting delegates for the GWI Urgent General Assembly Electronic Vote. Your participation and good support of the resolutions presented for the vote indicate your enthusiasm, acceptance, and commitment to renewing and rebuilding GWI.

The Board believes that the vote represents a positive intent of NFAs and that it needs to evaluate the challenges faced by NFAs that did not weigh in on the vote and how the new value proposition can be explained to them better. The Board is doing this by reconciling the benefits and the challenges that have resulted from this vote not just for the remainder of this triennium but also importantly for the next triennium.

Implications of the Vote: 
The Pandemic has disrupted global economies and GWI along with most membership organisations has experienced a marked reduction in membership and income. Over the last year, the Board has made deep cuts to what has already been an extremely austere operating budget. Without additional revenues, we foresee budget shortfalls for the next triennium.

The Board is convinced that any additional revenues now can only come from external sources with specific standards for performance and accountability, making the renewing and rebuilding of GWI and its NFAs a necessary condition for working relationships with external stakeholders.

The Board is clear in its view that for GWI, rebuilding and renewing is the only basis on which we can seek to build working relationships with UN agencies and other focal points for SDG implementation and importantly to seek funding from external stakeholders

Taking all of this into consideration, the Board is currently trying to balance the enormity of the renewal and rebuilding undertaking, the probability of its success given that one-third of its NFAs have not voted, the extent to which budget shortfalls in the next triennium can be covered by GWI’s financial reserve, and generally the best use of its volunteer and staff time and effort not just for the remainder of this triennium but the next.

I will be in touch with you again soon. In the meanwhile, should you have any questions, please write to Veena Bathe, GWI Vice President, Governance, at email: with a copy to

We have reached an exciting pivot point.  There are still challenges to face but your unwavering support springboards GWI in the right direction.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Oudraad
President Graduate Women International
Also included is the revised 
GWI Constitution (June 2022) with the General Assembly-approved amendments in blue font for your reference.