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Organization: British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG)
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

BFWG adopted a Resolution on 1325 at its AGM in 2003:   ‘BFWG urges HM Government, the European Union and the United Nations to give proper weight to the contributions women and women’s organisations can make to critical issues of world peace and security’.

Reports on 1325 have appeared in the bi-monthly NEWS and on the website, and a Day Conference was planned for February 2005  - ‘PEACE; CONFLICT, COMMUNICATION AND ...’.    The  Conference was cancelled  due to  lack of support.   A minimum of 30  and a maximum of 50  people  were needed to make the Conference viable.

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

BFWG is a small organisation with Local Associations throughout the UK.    Many members are elderly/retired, and are reluctant to travel, other than to the AGM and an annual Seminar at the House of Commons.    6 events between 5.2.05 and 5.3.05 probably affected the numbers registering for the Peace Conference, and Peace events are not a priority either nationall or locally.   In the May issue of NEWS, members of BFWG have been asked to give  their reasons for not coming to the Peace Conference.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

Workshops at AGMs in 2003 and 2004 0n 1325 have taken place, letters have gone to MPs, and the Ministers for Women (Patricia Hewitt and Jacqui Smith).   Members of BFWG’s International Network have been circulated twice  by the Network Co-ordinator, Griselda Kenyon who has been  President of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) since August 2004.     Individual members of BFWG have brought 1325 to the attention of their Local and Regional Associations in Manchester and Liverpool.   The Canadian High Commission in London invited members of women’s organisations, including BFWG,  to see the film  ‘Peace by Peace. Women on the Front Lines’  in June 2004, filmed in Afghanistan, Argentina, Bosnia-Herzogovina, Burundi and the US.     BFWG members attended the IFUW Triennial Conference in  Perth, Australia in August 2004, and  ran and participated in relevant workshops in support of 1325.    A Resolution and Plan of Action  to fully implement 1325 by analysing policy decisions affecting women’s participation and by promoting training at all levels, was agreed at the Conference.

I am not aware of any BFWG  event to mark the International Day of Peace on 21st September or International Women’s Day on March 8th.    I attended a local event to mark the occasion in Redditch, Worcestershire, addressed by Jacqui Smith, Deputy Minister for Women.

BFWG member Nancy Catchpole has passed on information from her contact with  the UK Women’s Link with Afghan women.

ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

BFWG was founded in 1907 and is part of IFUW which works to improve the lives of women and girls, and fosters, local, national and international  friendship.   IFUW is in Consultative Status with UNIFEM, the UN Development Fund for Women.  BFWG is represented on the Women’s National Commission (WNC) and is a member of Six-O.     BFWG is also represented on the National Council of Women (NCW).

I (Lorna Archer) have been a member of BFWG for 13 years.    More recently I have discovered the  ‘Network for Peace’  and ‘Control Arms’.  I have  joined the Women’s  International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the National Assembly of Women (NAW) and the ministry for peace.    BFWG  forwarded to me information about a meeting of the ministry for peace at the House of Commons in December 2004.    I attended and  met the Principal of the Hope Flowers School in Bethlehem where Arab and Israeli children have been educated together, and members of ‘The Peace Foundation Network’ and the  ‘Centre for Non-Violent Communication’.

I took part as an individual in the European Social Forum(ESF)  in London last October, which put me in touch with the ‘World March of Women’ and ‘Women in Black’.  Through BFWG, I  was invited to the ‘ Soroptomists’ International’  AGM in October 2004 where I met Hilary Jeune, of the ‘United Network of Young Peacebuilders’ (UNOY), and guest speaker  Elizabeth Rehn who co- wrote ‘ WOMEN, WAR and PEACE’.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

There are no plans for BFWG to put on another Peace Conference.   BFWG’s  AGM in July may include a workshop and/or another Resolution.

Postal address of organization

4, Mandeville Courtyard, 142, Battersea Park Road, London SW11 4NB, UK

E-mail address of organization


Website address of organization


Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Equality of Women

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

Education for a Culture of Peace

Highest priority country of action (or international)

BFWG is part of IFUW, an international organisation with members in  more than 70 countries.

Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG)

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