Union of Hungarian Women Association
The Association of the Union of Hungarian Women (UHW) is an NGO, established in 2014 on the initiative of Margit Batthyany-Schmidt, serving as its president. The above quotation from the Huns can be regarded as a motto for the Association, as UHW is convinced that the founding values of a future sustainable society are love, respect and care.
The UHW is committed to promoting the preservation of traditional values and the creation of new ones regarding the role of women.
The UHW focuses primarily on women living in the countryside by providing support to them. The Association carries out its activities by acknowledging the role and place of men in society, so that both men and women can experience how their traditional roles contribute to a harmonious family life.
Benefiting from national, Carpathian Region and international cooperation, UHW endeavors to be a bridge between women and decision-makers with the aim that economic, social, employment, educational, environmental, health preservation and consumer protection decisions will be taken for the benefit of women and families, and that those decisions support innovation.
The Union of Hungarian Women - in accordance with its values - disagrees with segregation and hate; therefore, it supports by all means the cooperation of people regardless of race, gender or religion. The Association carries out its national and international activities of advocacy in this spirit.
As a proactive member of the Working Groups organized by the Human Rights Working Group Secretariat of the Ministry of Justice, the UHW monitors the advocacy of human rights of Senior Citizens, Children and Women and, in addition, consults with civil organizations in support of the effective law enforcement of the abovementioned three groups.
The UHW believes in the dissemination of basic values and best practices, thus it participates in the sharing of knowledge and in networking. Through its projects and activities, UHW supports women undertaking a major role in sustainable rural development, in maintaining local culture and in safe food production by supporting their applications for opened call for proposals and in their connected activities, by presenting international good practices. Since the foundation of UHW, the NGO has developed an extensive international network reaching several thousands of women active in agriculture, agricultural innovation and related areas.
UHW actively applies for national and international (including EU) funds in order to organize as many high-level international projects as possible and to support the participation of organizations from the Carpathian region.
In the past years, UHW played an active role in about 150 national and international events and was project partner in an Interreg Slovakia-Hungary Cross-border Cooperation Progamme project, 3 European and Regional Development Fund projects under aegis of which Family and Carreer Centres were set up, in Bethlen Fund projects and in National Cooperation Fund projects.
Important activities within Hungary in recent years
o On the occasion of the UN International Day of Rural Women in 2015 in Kecskemet, in 2016 in
Harkany, in 2017 in Debrecen, in 2018 in Kalocsa, and in 2019 in Tolna, the UHW held international conferences with over 100 participants each about the challenges and opportunities for women active in agriculture and in rural areas. At these events high-level speakers represented domestic decision-makers and international organizations. The two-day-long conferences were free for all interested parties. Besides the plenary meetings, advisory workshops, exhibitions and international experts were available to the participants.
o In 2016 and 2017, together with the Ministry of Agriculture, UHW organized conferences called "Women - Information - Innovation", which focused on the role of women in agriculture, their innovative nature, innovative nature and skills, and opportunities for them in leading positions. In 2018 UHW held a conference called "Women and digitalization" together with the Ministry of Agriculture, based on good Dutch examples.
o On 8 March 2017, on the occasion of International Women's Day, UHW organized a high-level event at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences together with the Association Everyday through Women's Eyes. In 2018 the UHW held, together with the Young Family Club, an International Women's Day event in the Upper House of the Parliament.
o In 2018 the UHW was a consortium member of 3 projects under aegis of which 3 Family and Career Centres have been set up in the countryside, in the cities of Tolna and Kalocsa, besides one in West Nograd county, Nagyoroszi.
Important international activities in the past years
o In March 2017 UHW participated in the event of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) in New York as chair of section, where decision-makers regarding world women's affairs met representatives of civil organizations to discuss opportunities for collaboration. At the parallel event of UHW, more than 50 participants took part in the discussion focusing on the support of innovative women's start-ups.
o Along with the CSW62 in New York, UHW organized a side event, where Hungarian family strategies, Dutch and Swedish best practices and the biggest European farmer support organization, Copa-Cogeca, were presented to the public.
o UHW gave presentations on the activities of Hungarian rural women in July 2017 in Baden- Wurttemberg, Germany and in November 2017 in Vienna, Austria at the BPW Danube Net Forum.
o In October 2017 UHW applied for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (UN ECOSOC). On 22 January 2019, the UHW obtained special consultant status of UN ECOSOC.
o In 2018, every child with Hungarian citizenship or holding a Hungarian identity card, born after 1 July 2017, participated in the Umbilical Cord Program. Within the program, UHW promoted maternity allowance and baby bonds in surrounding countries.
o In 2018, the UHW organized a series of "Christianity in Europe" events, where together with representatives of the Catholic, Protestant and Evangelic Churches, UHW strengthened the nations, faith, family, motherland and small communities.
o Since 2018 UHW has been taking part as a consortium partner in the implementation of a project titled "Crossing Bridges with the Help of Ambassadors" (CORD), supported by the Interreg V-A Slovakia-Hungary Cooperation Program. The CORD project focuses on women entrepreneurs and is aimed at promoting the cross-border business activities of start-ups, potential entrepreneurs and SMEs.
National and international results and projects, activities in progress in 2020:
Upon the success of the past years activities, the UHW continues the organization of the abovementioned events (for example, UN International Day of Rural Women and National Agriculture and Food Exhibition and Fair), and besides this:
o On 22 January 2019, the UHW obtained special consultant status of UN ECOSOC.
o Continuing its international networking activities, the UHW liaised with Christian Civil and Farmer
Associations in Georgia, who will visit Hungary in 2019.
o In spring the UHW organized, together with the Young Family Club, a UN International Women's
Day event in the Upper House of the Parliament.
o The UHW took part in the CSW63 by organizing its own side event called "Improving the skills,
productivity, and employment opportunities of rural women - Family and Career Centres".
o In 2017, the UHW initiated historical background research on the Association of Hungarian Women Landowners. Based on its results, in 2019 it is planning to establish the Antonia Zichy Institute with the aim of continuing Ms. Zichy's exceptional work.
o In June 2019 the UHW organized a conference together with a workshop focusing on innovative female entrepreneurs in the Ministry of Agriculture.
o The UHW is proud that one of its founding member as women entrepreneur has been chosen as an ambassador of the Interreg Slovakia-Hungary Cross-border Cooperation Program CORD project.
o The UHW plans to introduce the "Night of Hungaricums", with a cultural and gastronomic focus on its first occasion.
o The UHW became the official member of the WEP - Women Entrepreneurship Platform in 2020
o The UHW became the official member of the COFACE Families Europe, which is a pluralistic network of civil society associations representing the interests of all families
o Innovation initiative during the pandemic, a bridge between the consumers and the producers, "Bringing the products to people's homes - healthy Hungarian food" movement, the organization of a Car Farmer's Market.
Margit Batthyany-Schmidt, president:
Besides being the President of UHW, Margit Batthyany-Schmidt is a member of the board of the Women's Committee of Copa-Cogeca, the largest agricultural lobby organization in Europe, as well as of the board of WUSME (the UN background organization for SMEs). Margit carries out professional activities in both international organizations and represents interest to support organizations and enterprises of the Carpathian Region, Firstly, focusing on women and agriculture. Secondly, based on her diplomatic skills and broad network, she works continuously to convey information on Hungary and its culture, traditions and spirit to the world. As an expert, she started collaborating with the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) in 2017.