ACWW Connects and Supports Women and Communities Worldwide

ACWW's 28th Triennial Conference was held at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, 17-23 August 2016. More than 600 delegates attended, representing 42 countries. On this page you can download helpful presentations from our Guest Speakers, and read following Resolutions & Recommendations were adopted:

Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases: A Global Perspective
Ms Alison Commar, World Health Organisation


Women @TUoS NET: Academic networking for change
Professor Julie Gray, University of Sheffield


Dementia: A Growing Global Issue
Dr Mary Tilki



The Constitution

Food Sovereignty


Sustainable Energy

Shale Gas

Resolution 1


The members, having been informed of the incorporation process and consulted on the new constitution, hereby resolve that:

  • incorporation of the Charity ACWW into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation is in the best interests of the Charity and its beneficiaries; and
  • the trustees may use the power under Article IX d. of the ACWW Constitution to take all necessary steps to incorporate the Charity into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, including making minor amendments only to the constitution as the Charity Commission may require and that following the incorporation the trustees may dissolve the present Charity.



Ad Hoc Committee on the Constitution (established as a consequence of 27th Triennial Conference Resolution)


Supporting statement:  It was noted that:

  1. Resolutions were passed in 2013 for the trustees and an Ad-Hoc committee to consider the legal structure and constitution of the ACWW Charity and “prepare a new structure” and “constitution to ensure that it meets all of the requirements of the Charities Commission of England and Wales, and make any other changes required to bring the document up to date and bring changes to be voted on at the 2016 Conference”.

  2. The ACWW Charity is currently formed as a charitable unincorporated association.

  3. Unincorporated associations do not have a separate legal personality. As such, any legal agreements are entered into by the trustees on behalf of the Charity. Similarly, property and investments must be held by individual trustees or a “holding” trustee on behalf of the ACWW Charity and its charitable objects.

  4. The ACWW Charity being formed as a charitable unincorporated association means there is unlimited liability on the trustees and members to meet any debts or claims if they arise.

  5. A new structure established for charities, called Charitable Incorporated Organisations was created in January 2013, under the Charities Act 2011 (England and Wales).

  6. Charitable Incorporated Organisations do have their own separate legal personality and can enter into legal agreements in their own name.

  7. Charitable Incorporated Organisations provide limited liability for its members.

  8. Many charitable unincorporated associations have incorporated into Charitable Incorporated Organisations since 2013.

  9. The Charity ACWW, as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, would have the same charitable objects and continue its current activities unchanged.

  10. The Charity ACWW, as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, would have a constitution which provides the members with additional powers due to requirements under the Charities Act 2011.

  11. The trustees have a power under the Charity’s constitution to incorporate the Charity and that the proposal is for the Charity to begin to function as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation from 1 January 2017.

  12. The trustees and ad-hoc committee are in agreement that the Charity should incorporate.

Resolution 2


Be it resolved that the ACWW accept Food Sovereignty as part of ACWW agricultural policy and that the ACWW begin a campaign to bring awareness and understanding of Food Sovereignty to the organisation and its members during the next triennium (2016 - 2019).



National Farmers Union of Canada (ACWW Membership Number 091021)


Supporting statement: 
Food Sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food production through ecologically sound and sustainable methods and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It advocates for equity and full access to resources for women on farms and in rural communities. Food Sovereignty aims to reduce rural poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation.

Resolution 3


Be it resolved that the ACWW and its member organisations strongly urge their governments to ban food and drink manufacturers from claiming their sweetened products are healthier if they use fructose as sweetener.



Koninklijk NVVH Vrouennetwerk (ACWW Membership Number 091058)


Supporting statement: 
Worldwide, obesity is becoming a serious health problem. On advice from the European Food Safety Authority (ESFA), taking effect as of 2014, the EU has ruled that food and drink manufacturers can claim their sweetened products are healthier, if they replace more than 30% of the glucose and sucrose they contain with fructose. Fructose has a lower glycaemic index (GI), meaning fructose does not cause as high and rapid a blood sugar spike as sucrose or glucose.

However, being isocaloric ISO. isometabolic like other sweeteners, fructose is metabolized differently from other sugars. Fructose goes straight to the liver and unprocessed excess is stored there as fat, building up deposits that may cause life-threatening diseases. While refined fructose creates a lower glycemic response in the short term, compared to other sugars, in the long term it causes greater metabolic havoc than sugar, as has been repeatedly demonstrated in scientific studies.

Even the EU Panel on Dietic Products, Nutrition and Allergies, while still agreeing with the health claim for fructose, notes in their Opinion Paper 7 that ‘high intakes of fructose may lead to metabolic complications such as dyslipidaemia, insulin resistance and increased visceral adiposity’.

Resolution 4


As 2014 opened the UN decade of Sustainable Energy for All, be it resolved that the member societies of ACWW promote and support community energy projects and access to sustainable energy for all.



Wiltshire Federation of Women’s Institutes (ACWW Membership Number 092505)


Supporting statement: 
The grave impact of lack of clean energy on health, particularly for women and children, is not widely recognised. The first two years of the SE4All initiative are dedicated to the complex ties between energy, women, children and health.  More than one billion people in the world still have no access to electricity; millions more rely on unsustainable and polluting fuels for cooking. In the industrialised world the problem is not generally one of access but of inefficiency and pollution.  ‘Affordable, Clean Energy’ – the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goal 7 – sets national targets for energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency; locally generated energy is cleaner, more efficient and more secure.  The goal of the resolution ‘Secure Sustainable Energy’ is ‘working together for a better future’.

Resolution 5


Be it resolved that ACWW members request their governments to, before allowing shale gas exploration to commence, gather as much as possible information from more than just the oil and gas companies applying for the fracking licenses.



WAU Overvaal (South Africa) (ACWW Membership Number 091206)


Supporting statement: 
The decision should be based on sound scientific information, in other words proper investigation on the risks of shale gas exploration and extraction. Task teams should include NGO’s involved in the sustainability of the environment, all government departments like Agriculture, Health, Rural Development, Land Reform, Tourism and Transport.

Well pod sizes differ from 1 ha to 2.4 ha. According to an oil company one pod can house up to 32 wells. The amount of water needed per well is 20 million litres. 55 000 truck trips per road will be transporting water and other equipment (like chemicals) to and from the wells. Road infrastructure will take a beating. 32 billion litres of water will be used on one pod, of which half will end up toxic and radioactive waste water.

A myriad of health concerns and risks are associated with natural gas production and can range from infections and irritations to cancer. These are not just related to humans, but also the ecosystem. Different stages of the gas extraction pose different health issues. Groundwater and surface water contamination resulting from the toxic drilling waste water leads to serious illnesses in humans and cattle, especially due to BTEX chemicals known for causing endocrine disruption and cancer. Arid countries will not have the capacity to lose any water resources, as that will impact negatively on all communities and herds along the area earmarked for drilling.

Water Supply

Eradicable Diseases

Officer Membership


Civil Soc. & Gender

Resolution 6


Be it resolved that ACWW urges all countries to vigorously protect the supply of potable, farming and industrial water through the best technical information available that will provide sustainability of life.



Country Women's Council USA (ACWW Membership Number 093495)


Supporting statement:

ACWW has supported drilling wells and clean water. It is time to think about not wasting a precious resource. Water is not a limitless resource and only 3% is available for drinking. Water usage has increased 6 times in the past 100 years and will double again by the year 2050. By 2025 it is estimated that half of the world’s population will lack access to safe drinking water.  One fifth of the world’s population (l.2 billion people) live in areas where water is physically scarce. Shortages of water may be caused by population growth, unsustainable agriculture, pollution, and lack of the natural resource.  One third of all water used in the home is flushed down the toilet. Homes could reduce this waste by using a water saving device. The average household could save 44,000 gallons per year by just turning off the tap.

Resolution 7


Be it resolved that ACWW societies and members urge their governments and health organisations to continue local vaccination efforts of potentially eradicable diseases in order to work toward area elimination which would then result in global eradication.



Country Women's Council USA (ACWW Membership Number 093495)


Supporting statement: 
To date smallpox is the only infectious disease that effects humans that has been eradicated and we are close to the second global eradication, that being Guinea Worm Disease. Other diseases Lymphatic Filariasis, Measles, Rubella, and Taeniasis/Systicerososis are currently potentially eradicable with Poliomyelitis at the top of the list. In some cases there is a public misconception of the seriousness which can be a chief obstacle to eradication. Incredible headway has been made and we need eradication efforts to continue.

Resolution 8


Be it resolved that it is a prerequisite for any candidate seeking office as a member of the Board of ACWW, a Committee Chairman or a member of a specified committee, to hold individual membership of ACWW.



Rural Women New Zealand (ACWW Member Number 091062)


Supporting statement: 
In order to be considered for a position on the highest level of governance of most organisations a candidate must be a financial member.  ACWW is slightly different in that it is made up of Member Societies and Individual Members.  Whilst Member Societies may nominate a candidate, that candidate should hold Individual Membership of ACWW to show a real commitment to ACWW.  Individual Members are very supportive of and committed to ACWW without having any voting rights. A candidate needs to show that same kind of commitment.


This resolution was proposed by RWNZ at the 2010 ACWW 26th Triennial Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA. The Board downgraded it to a Recommendation. This was passed, but it is not binding as a Recommendation and therefore it was again raised at the South Pacific Area Conference in Dubbo, New South Wales. It was passed and is now forwarded as a Resolution from that Conference to the 2016 ACWW World Conference.

Resolution 9


Be it resolved that the membership subscription for Categories I, II, III, IVa and IVb be increased to

Cat I = £105 + handling

Cat II = £64 + handling

Cat III = £53 + handling

Cat IVa = £35 + handling

Cat IVb for 1 year = £25 + handling

Cat IVb for 3 years = £65 + handling



Hampshire Federation of Women’s Institutes (ACWW Membership Number 091257)


Supporting statement: 
The Constitution (old or new) states that the Triennial World Conference should review membership fees (2010 page 19 Bye-law 1 Dues and 32 Bye-law 18.6 Business of the Triennial Conference.) There was no review in 2013 so fees have not increased since 2010. The suggested new fees represent an increase of 10% over six years for Societies (less than 2% per year) and rather more for individuals where an increase has not been made for many more years. The handling charge is for foreign exchange and is standard on the ACWW website but of course the figures are for current fees. It is thought this is about the charge made by banks

Resolution 10


Be it resolved that member societies of ACWW strongly urge their governments to integrate a gender-perspective in their policies to create an enabling environment for economic and social development especially in rural areas.



 Vrouwen van Nu, The Netherlands (ACWW Membership Number 091057)


Supporting statement: 
The worldwide need for food production, the eradication of poverty, and the urge for sustainability needs strong citizens of all ages. The whole series of budget cuts in the EU-countries for example are disproportionately affecting women through job losses and reductions in public services. There is evidence of rising precarious working conditions, increasing discrimination in the labour market with subsequent shift to informal work, rising levels of poverty, reduced access to services, and rising levels of domestic violence, accompanied by cuts in vital support services. Solutions are needed which are built on the positive effects of gender equality on well-being, employment and people-centred sustainable growth.


Food, care and health are in the hearts of women. Working in these fields contribute to the development of life-standards and to the eradication of poverty. Investing in sustainability is a chance to restore the gender balance and using the knowledge of the region of both men and women.


An equal relation between civil society, the government and private sector is essential. Women’s organizations, as a part of that civil society, play a role in empowering women through their network and programs at local, regional or national level. The main goals for women are: encouragement in decision making and participation, learning by doing, learning together, strengthening personal development and competences, such as entrepreneurship. Stimulation of knowledge sharing and strengthening civil society, such as women’s organizations, is effective for the livability (survival expectancy) and continuation of projects in local communities.


In addition to the previously submitted resolutions, the following Urgency Resolution was submitted from the floor and adopted by the Conference:



Be it resolved that ACWW and its member organisations urge their governments to take action to stop the increasing worldwide sexual abuse of women and children in refugee camps and shelters.



European Area Pre-Conference Meeting


Carried unanimously.


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