ACWW European Area Conference – Glasgow, Scotland 2022

Posted December 1, 2022 by WI Staff in Event Reports










I attended ACWW European Area Conference in the Golden Jubilee Hotel, Glasgow from 19th-23rd September 2022.  I am pleased as co-opted Chairman of the ACWW Projects Committee to be able to share with you a selection of updates and achievements from ACWW Projects over the past few years…


Projects Update

Over the last triennium, with the generous fundraising from our members across the world, ACWW has been able to fund 76 projects. This has enabled us to support over 6,700 women, girls, and communities. These projects were in diverse locations across the world from Southern India to Mongolia and from Ghana in the West of Africa to Malawi in the South.

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the successes that we have seen in our funded projects over the past few years. Despite the difficulties of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns, over 29 projects have completed their planned project activities and many more are in their final stages. Many projects had to amend their plans in order to continue in light of Covid-19, such as Community Action for Rural Development which ran a project raising awareness for mental health in schools in rural India, until Covid-19 shut down all the local schools and the project was halted. Community Action for Rural Development the contacted ACWW with details and, with our blessing, pivoted to an alternative project focused on physiotherapy care for elderly community members. This ensured some impact was secured despite challenging circumstances.

Empowerment of Marginalised Communities, a reproductive rights organisation in Tanzania made incredible progress in their project to introduce an alternative rite of passage to combat female genital mutilation in Tanzania. Over the course of the project, Empowerment of Marginalised Communities worked with varied stakeholders from local tribal leaders, government officials and the traditional birth attendants who often carry out the practice to raise awareness of the harm that FGM causes. The work of Empowerment of Marginalised Communities was covered in local newspapers, highlighting the success of the project’s achievements.

While we are so proud of all the amazing projects that we have supported over the last triennium, ACWW strives to keep innovating and keep pace with current best practice in international development. The key need for change that the ACWW Board identified was an increased need for sustainable project funding in these challenging times. The current pattern of funding between 20 and 30 projects a year spread our financial resources too thin and prevented routine monitoring of all projects. Funding fewer projects with the same distribution of funds also means that ACWW can make a far greater, longer-lasting impact for rural communities across the world. ACWW understands that community investment is vital for real change in the livelihoods and wellbeing of rural women, and continuing our commitment to projects is a proud strand of our work for the future.

ACWW’s Board also understands that a more collaborative approach to project implementation can lead to more impactful, innovative and sustainable project results. We will continue to seek collaborative expertise from a variety of stakeholders, building on the knowledge of local partners, international collaborators and external funders in order fund inspirational projects that truly empower rural women.

Edwina Marr, Downpatrick WI.

(ACWW Projects Committee Chairman)

 ACWW Projects Committee (L-R): Snoekie Erasmus (South Africa), Mihaela Caluser, (Romania), Edwina Marr (Projects Chairman NI) and Patricia Madden (Ireland).

* Photograph courtesy of Alan Snelling Photography.


Here are some more snapshots of our members who represented the WI and Northern Ireland at the ACWW European Conference in Glasgow, including Federation Chairman Margaret Broome, former Federation Chairmen, International Sub-Committee Chairman Rhoda Farrelly, members of the International Sub-Committee and friends.  The Conference had originally been scheduled to take place in 2020 but was postposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so the ladies were delighted to finally be able to attend and catch up with the latest ACWW news and find out more about strategies for future projects.





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