Minutes AOIFE General assembly

Minutes: AOIFE General Assembly
20 August 2003

12.30 - 13.00 registration at "Kulturen" (close to the Cathedral), Adelgatan, Lund
47 official representatives registered for the meeting (Appendix 0)

13.00 Meeting starts at "Kulturen", Lund

1. Opening of meeting

President of AOIFE Harriet Silius opened the meeting

2. Election of Chair for the General Assembly meeting and approval of Agenda

Harriet Silius was elected chair for the meeting and Berit Starkman appointed secretary for the meeting. Also a voting committee was appointed: Anna Lundberg, Sweden, Mariagrazia Leone, Italy and Jeannette van den Sanden, Netherlands.

3. Update of AOIFE activities and future plans

ATHENA main co-ordinator Rosi Braidotti informed about the status of AOIFE's SOCRATES-funded ATHENA-project. September 30 is the end of the ATHENA Dissemination project. The application for ATHENA 2 has been approved by the EU-Commission and will get funds for three more years 2004-06. The first meeting of ATHENA 2 will take place in Helsinki, May 28-30, 2004.

AOIFE managing director Nina Lykke gave a brief summary of main activities of the AOIFE secretariat. Linköping university has volunteered to host the AOIFE-secretariat for three more years (2004-2006). The Secretariat tries in several ways to be the visible contact point of AOIFE. To pursue this goal, the Secretariat has, since the last General Assembly, among others taken the initiative to start an AOIFE Newsletter (to be published biannually), to add a membership profile to the AOIFE website, and to make AOIFE visible at strategically important conferences. Another large workload for the secretariat during the first years in Linköping has been the writing of EU-applications, on behalf of the AOIFE Council. In 2002 a Thematic network application, "Gender and Diversity. Towards a European Feminist Research Institute" was submitted to EU's 5th Framework Programme for research. In 2003, a Network of Excellence application "GENDEReQUALITY" was submitted to the 6th Framework Programme. An important aim of both applications is to get funding for the preparation of a European Feminist Research Institute.

AOIFE Council member Elzbieta Oleksy, main coordinator of the above-mentioned Network of Excellence application "GENDEReQUALITY" (acronym), full title: "Gender, Societal Trends and Quality of Life: Integrating Feminist Research" informed about the application and the evaluation. The application comprised 37 partner universities in 22 countries. Elzbieta reported that the evaluation report was received just a couple of days before the General Assembly. The application was commended for a lot of things (among others an effective management structure, an appropriate budget (app. 8 million Euro), a good plan for dissemination of results, a fine programme for integration of young researchers etc.), and it got a high score, but it missed 0,5 score in reaching the threshold for projects to be considered for funding. The reason for this was that, the application was considered "gender biased",
- because it mentioned "feminism",
- because it had only 11 male participants and no proper plan for gender equality,
- and because it did not take masculinity research into consideration!
Elzbieta reported that the evaluation report had been discussed at great length at an AOIFE Council Meeting on August 18, and that it there was decided that the Council should write a letter to the Commission asking for clarifications on a number of the issues raised in the evaluation report, among others on the definition of "gender equality", on which the comments in the evaluation report were based, a definition which seems to run counter to the many communications of the EU Commission which stress the problem of the underrepresentation of women in science. Moreover, it should be noted that the project had 23 and not 11 male participants, among them a group of very distinguished European masculinity researchers, who earlier have had research funding from the Commission. In spite of the great disappointment about the outcome of the Network of Excellence application, the aim is to resubmit.

4. Presentation of Council nominees (Appendix 1)

Ulla Wischermann, chair of the nomination committee presented the nominees. Unfortunately presentations of two of the present council-members (who can be re-elected) Magda Michielsens and Maria Serena Sapegno were missing due to a mistake from the Secretariat (see enclosed appendix).
The candidates then presented themselves in the following order:
Sasa Lada
Magda Michielsens
Elzbieta Oleksy
Maria Serena Sapegno
Maria Grönroos
Ulla Holm
Päivi Korvajärvi
Marcella Corsi
Margo Brouns
Ute Gerhard
The following nominees were not present:
Thorgerdur Einarsdottir
Svetlana Slapsak
Nicky Le Feuvre
Rachel Alsop

5. Election of 9 council members and 6 replacements

47 AOIFE Members were entitled to vote at the General Assembly and 47 voting slips were put in the ballot box (archived at the Secretariat).

10 minutes break

6. Amendments to Statutes and Standing orders (Appendix 2)

Council proposal that ex officio members should be invited to participate in Council meetings without the vote. This should ensure links between the Council, the Secretariat and major AOIFE activities and, moreover, guarantee continuity in the present situation, where there will be a major change of Council members since the start of AOIFE, as five members cannot be re-elected.
General Assembly decided to change the Statutes (11.3) according to proposal in appendix 2.

Council proposal that the Secretariat should be located at Tema Genus, Linköping university another three years.
General Assembly decided to change the Standing orders (6.1) according to proposal in appendix 2.

7. Decision of the membership fee

General Assembly decided to keep the membership fee to 500 EURO for institutional membership and 250 EURO for associate membership.

The questions was raised if AOIFE membership should be compulsory for those who are active and AOIFE-related projects. Recommendation is to promote membership to all partners in AOIFE-related projects, as it is important to build up AOIFE to become a strong organisation.

8. Approval of annual accounts

Year 2001(Appendix 3)
According to appendix 3 the financial situation for AOIFE in the end of 2001 is slightly stronger than at the beginning of the year (see Point 8, attached and appendix 3)
Year 2002 (Appendix 4)
According to appendix 4 the financial situation for AOIFE in the end of 2002 was not as good as at the beginning of the year. This is mainly due to late incoming membership fees, which will be added on the finances for 2003 (see Point 8, attached and appendix 4).
The annual accounts were approved.

9. Closing of the General Assembly

Before Closing of the General Assembly Harriet Silius declared that the voting slips had been counted and thus a New AOIFE council elected. The result of the voting:
1. Elzbieta Oleksy, Poland
2. Magda Michielsens, Belgium
3. Maria Serena Sapegno, Italy
4. Svetlana Slapsak, Slovenia
5. Nicky Le Feuvre, France
6. Anastasia Lada, Greece
7. Ulla Holm, Sweden
8. Ute Gerhard, Germany
9. Margo Brouns, The Netherlands
And then replacements:
1. Marcella Corsi, Italy
2. Rachel Alsop, UK
3. Maria Grönroos, Norway
4. Päivi Korvajärvi, Finland
5. Thorgerdur Einarsdottir, Iceland

Harriet Silius congratulated the new elected members, thanked the ones that were leaving the council and thanked all members for attending the General Assembly and closed the meeting.

Harriet Silius
AOIFE President

Nina Lykke
AOIFE Secretariat Managing Director

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