Cape Town Waterfront



In the interests of involving more Cape Town members in the AGM, the National Executive proposed an e-mail and skype/google hangouts combination meeting, to which both Cape Town and Johannesburg agreed.  In essence, the idea was to have an email discussion of the reports and use skype/google hangouts for the issues that need verbal discussion, such as the accounts.  Unfortunately, time has run out to follow the proposed e-mail agenda for reports.  However, it is still possible to deal with the reports before the meeting, and take them as read at the meeting, unless there are burning issues in reports that need to be addressed.


The meeting format, therefore, is as follows:

  • Reports will be sent out preferably on, Friday 19 May, or latest by Monday 22 May
  • Any questions on the reports should be addressed to Catherine (, who will collate the questions and table them at the skype/google hangouts meeting where they will be answered
  • Reports,except for outstanding questions, will be taken as read
  • The skype/google hangouts meeting will be used to cover the accounts and any other outstanding issues.


The timetable for the skype/google hangouts meeting is as follows:



27 May



Arrival at venue and set up





Connection to participants via skype





Welcome and introduction of all





Any outstanding issue for National Executive reports





10.1              Cape Town Reports





10.2              Johannesburg Reports





9.2     National Treasurer's Report &
          SAAWG 2016 Accounts










11.1              Fellowship Secretariat





11.2              Student Aid Fund





11.3              Hansi Pollak Fellowship





14.      Resolutions





14.1              Annual Fees





14.2              Other





17.        Other Business





Wrap up and closure


To Cape Town Branch members: If you wish to participate in the email discussions and if you have not received this email directly from Catherine, please contact her so she can add you to the list.  If you wish to participate in the skype/google hangouts discussion, please let her have your contact information by Thursday 25 May.


To Johannesburg Branch members: The National Executive will be meeting at Kingsmead, as per the National AGM flyer, at 8:30 for 9:00am, and a light lunch will be served after the close of the meeting.


We look forward to being in contact with as many of you as possible at the meeting.


MSc Opportunity – Genetic Risk Factors for Occupational Injuries

The Division of Exercise Science & Sports Medicine (ESSM) at the University of Cape Town is offering an MSc level project investigating the genetic risk factors underlying occupational musculoskeletal injuries.

The research will require interaction and communication with team members from

different collaborating institutions such as the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Stellenbosch and Linkӧping University in Sweden. Research tasks will include the regular reporting of research progress outcomes at project meetings, seminars/conferences and in progress reports, as well as the preparation of scientific papers for publication.

Applications from candidates with a background in molecular biology will be considered, with potential for funding from the National Research Foundation and/or the University of Cape Town. The successful candidate will be required to comply with the University of Cape Town’s approved policies, procedures and practices.

Further information can be obtained from, and applications submitted to, Prof Malcolm Collins (email: Application needs to include CV, list of publications and contact details of three referees, and are accepted until the position is filled.

Margaret Edwards, President of SAAWG's Johannesburg Branch, receives the Chitra Ghosh Award

Margaret Edwards receives Chitra Gosh Award

Prof. Chitra Ghosh is a distinguished academic and a past president of Graduate Women International. Every trienniuem, a Chitra Ghosh  award is presented to a member who has contributed to the development/ betterment of the association to which she belongs and preference is given to a candidate who has designed and has executed or is involved in an ongoing project of her NFA that promotes empowerment of members of her NFA or of a group of women or girls in her society.

This year, Margaret Edwards was presented with this award for the development, with Jocelyn Bell, organisation and management of the Aurora Project which aims to and has done for the past 22 years, increase the self esteem of young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in Johannesburg.  Management has been handed over to a new generation, but Margaret continues to be actively involved. Read More . . . 

GWI calls for an end to Female Genital Mutilation as a
major barrier to girls’ and women’s education and
as a human rights abuse

Geneva, Switzerland, 6 February 2016 - on the International Day of Zero Tolerance of FGM, GWI calls for states, policymakers and community members to put an end to the damaging practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a form of physical abuse, a human rights abuse and as a major barrier to girls’ educational attainment.

The Immediate Past President of Graduate Women International (GWI), Catherine Bell,  stated: “FGM is condemned by GWI as a harmful traditional practice that destroys girls’ and women’s lives. National legislators must work in conjunction with local community leaders and local women to educate and to reinforce the human right of girls and women to take decisions over their own bodies, and emphasise instead the value of unhindered access to education and improved economic potential”.



The South African Association of Women Graduates (SAAWG) has looked back on its “herstory” over the past 90 years.

SAAWG was established in 1923 in Wellington, Western Cape and is affiliated to the International Federation of University Women (now Graduate Women International "GWI"). Its vision and mission has always been to advocate for the improved status of women and girls.The membership is multi-disciplinary and includes students.

For its 90th anniversary a publication (see below) has been produced from the writings of its members and other authors which have appeared in its Journal from 1930 to the present time.

It is also with pride that we note that bursaries awarded by SAAWG (previously SA Association of University Women, SAAUW) have been providing small but necessary assistance to female students over many years.  Some of the bursaries started in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  In 2014, 10 awards were made directly to undergraduate students, four to postgraduate students and 69 awards to undergraduates.

Read more . . .

Rights and Wrongs in this Land of Ours


What has been achieved regarding the status of women and education — and what are the challenges we still face?

In this 20th year of democracy in South Africa it is appropriate that the South African Association of Women Graduates has published its 90th anniversary book — Rights and Wrongs in this land of ours. The book details the changing South Africa within the fields of, inter alia, politics, social and family life, economics and education, with special reference to changes in the status of women over the years. 

Learn more about this publication . . .


Minister's Speech at Publication Launch

At the launch of the publication Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, said, "I applaud your efforts in providing mentorship support, outreach initiatives, and scholarships specifically focused on girl learners and women students." 

Access the complete address . . .


Ida Mulenga - SAAWG President 2014 - 2017



SAAWG National Honorary Life Member

Catherine was voted in as IFUW President at the IFUW Conference held in Istanbul in August 2013.

Professionally,  she  develops  strategies  for, and  implements, large

sustainable  projects,  so  brings  both  strategic  thinking  and  leadership  skills to any position she holds.  She designs and presents practical, cost-effective and sustainable solutions, strictly within specified time limits and budgets.  Most of what she does is action orientated.  READ MORE . . .