BYLAWS

ART. 1) The association for voluntary community work, called "DIFFERENZA MATERNITÀ, Modena", which derives from the experience and activities carried out since 1987 by the Differenza Maternità group of the Modena chapter of UDI, has its headquarters in Modena, Via del Gambero 77 - Casa delle Donne - and its duration is set to be indefinite.

ART. 2) The Association is a non-profit organization and adheres to the principles of the "Charter of Intents" adopted by the self-summoned UDI General Assembly held in Rome, in the 1-2 April 1995 session.

ART. 3) The purpose of the Association is to:

A) Enhance the courses and best practices of motherhood and parenting, for both natural and adoptive families;

B) Promote, organize, and implement: - public initiatives, research, projects, advice and information about local opportunities to support women's health issues and  motherhood choices, to promote a culture that respects differences, in a new relationship between the genders concerning parental responsibility;

- individual and mutual assistance and support initiatives for pregnancy, to support women and the couple concerning childbirth;

- initiatives, studies and research designed to enhance and support the mother/child bond as a pillar for women's salutogenesis, and to support breastfeeding as the basis for an imprinting of love and health;

C) Inform, train, and/or monitor, concerning the legislation and services related to the topics of interest of the Association, independently and cooperating with others;

D) Identify and collect bibliographical material on the topics of interest of the Association, to encourage and promote exchange, guidance and information with and for women;

E) Promote research, set up proposals and projects, organize conferences, exhibitions, debates and initiatives aimed at enhancing the value of gender culture on the issues of health, sexuality, reproduction and care;

F) Strive for the transmission of female knowledge and traditions, on issues pertaining to the Association, by setting up scholarships, seminars and specialization/training/information courses. To achieve these goals, the association intends to experiment with new forms of relations with public institutions, and in particular with the local, provincial and regional governments, and with healthcare companies and/or organizations. The Association also aims to be a point of reference and/or connection with other women's groups in Italy, to construct incisive thought, culture and contractual power concerning the institutional choices of Government, Regional government and Local authorities, as well as of society and of individuals. All the activities of the Association are carried out mainly by the services provided by its members. The activity of the members cannot be remunerated in any way even by any direct beneficiaries. The members can only be refunded of the expenses incurred for the activity performed, subject to providing supporting documentation and within the limits previously set by the Members Meeting. Any form of economic relation with the Association arising from employee or self-employed work is incompatible with the status of being a member.

ART. 4) The number of members is unlimited. All women who share the aims of the Association and who are motivated by the spirit of social solidarity may join the Association. Those wishing to join must apply to the Board, which decides on admission according to paragraph a) of Article 10 of these Bylaws. The membership request must explicitly state that the applicant agrees with the principles and purposes of the Association and accepts rules of these Bylaws. Members have the right and commit to participate actively, as a volunteer, to programming and implementation of activities and initiatives decided, and to attend the association's headquarters. Members have the right to vote, in ordinary and/or extraordinary association meetings, to approve and amend the Bylaws and regulations, to elect governing bodies, to approve budgets and/or final estimates and financial statements, as well as for any further decision regarding the activity and the pursuit of the aims of the Association. Pursuant to the Bylaws; all members have the right to be elected to positions in the association. Each member can express only one vote. Each member can vote by written proxy to another member, and can represent no more than 2 delegating members.

ART. 5) Members must:

a) pay annual dues and any additional contributions required, as established by the Board and approved by the Meeting;

b) comply with the Bylaws, with any internal regulations and with the decisions taken by the governing bodies;

c) cooperate voluntarily, spontaneously and free of charge. Membership ceases due to resignation or as a result of violation of the requirements set in paragraphs a) and/or b) of this article. Exclusion of a member is decided, with motivated statement, by the Meeting of members, following a proposal by the Board;

The Meeting must first listen to explanations and reasons as justification expressed by the concerned member, before taking the final decision.

ART. 6) The assets of the Association are its common fund. This fund is for the protection of creditors of the Association and consists of the fees and contributions of the members, of gifts, grants, bequests and donations, also of third parties. Individual members cannot ask for the common fund to be split up, nor demand their quota if they withdraw or are excluded.

ART. 7) The financial year runs from 1 January to 31 December of each year. At the end of each fiscal year the Board must prepare the financial statements to be submitted and approved by the members within four months of the end of the financial year, together with the budget, also prepared by the Board;

ART. 8) The organs of the Association are: the Meeting of the Members, the Board, and the Chair. All offices are voluntary.

ART. 9) The Meeting of Members consists of all members in good standing with the payment of dues. It may be ordinary or extraordinary. The ordinary Meeting has the following responsibilities:

a) to decide the number of members of the Board and its term of office;

b) to elect, based on self-candidacy, the members of the Board by appointing, among them, the Chair and Deputy Chair;

c) to decide the annual membership fee and the extent of any additional charges levied on members;

d) to approve financial statements and budgets, prepared by the Board, as well as financial plans and reports on projects;

e) to approve the annual activity program;

f) to present proposals, projects, etc., on the issues of the Association;

g) to decide on the exclusion of members. The ordinary Meeting must be convened by the Chair at least twice a year, by notice sent to all members in good standing with the payment of the membership fee, to be sent ten days before the date set for it to be held. The ordinary Meeting can be convened by a request made by at least 1/10 (one tenth) of the members. On first call, the ordinary Meeting is validly constituted when at least 2/3 of the members are present, including members who have given proxies for representation and vote for another member. On second call, which may be convened at least one day after the first call, the ordinary Meeting is validly constituted when any number of members is present, with the favorable vote of the majority present, except in the case of article 12, by secret or open ballot, according to the decisions made from time to time by the Meeting itself, with the same majority. The extraordinary Meeting is required, amongst other things, to deliberate amendments to the Bylaws and the dissolution of the Association. The extraordinary Meeting is convened by the Chair, upon resolution of the Board, and whenever requested in writing, stating the matter to submit to the decision of the Meeting, by at least 1/10 (one tenth) of the members. The extraordinary meeting is validly constituted, on first call, when there are at least two-thirds of the members present; and on second call, whatever the number of members present, except in the case of Article 12. Resolutions are valid when they obtain the favorable vote of at least two-thirds of the members present.

ART. 10) The Board is composed of a minimum of 5 (five) to a maximum of 9 (nine) appointed components, elected by the Meeting among members that propose their own candidacy, and it also elects the Chair and the Deputy Chair. The term of the Board is two years; and the Board members can be re-elected. The Board must appoint the Secretary and the Treasurer, also not from among its components. If one or more board members resign, the Board shall remain in office until a subsequent ordinary Meeting appoints replacement board members, so that the number of remaining components - including the Chair and the Deputy Chair are no less than half of the initially designated number of Board members. The Board shall meet whenever necessary to deliberate on issues within its competence in order to ensure proper administration and transparency. Resolutions are taken by a majority of the Board members. In particular, the Board has the following duties:

a) to decide on applications for Association membership;

b) to decide on hiring employees, or enter into contracts for professional collaboration required to achieve the goals of the Association and for the implementation of agreed projects/initiatives;

c) to determine the amount of annual dues and any additional contributions needed for the ongoing activity of the Association to be submitted to the ordinary Meeting for approval;

d) to draw up budgets and financial statements, and financial plans/reports of specific projects, to be submitted to the ordinary Meeting of members for approval;

e) to handle all requirements for enrolling the Association in specific Registers and lists, in accordance with applicable regulations;

f) to prepare and/or collect the proposals of members for annual activities, to be submitted to the Meeting for evaluation/approval;

g) to promote the Association and all its activities, towards the general public and in particular to women's associations, commissions and equal opportunities committees, local institutions, and medical institutions.

ART. 11) The Chairman legally represents the Association, for all legal purposes. It is the responsibility of the Chairman to convene and preside over the Board and the ordinary and/or extraordinary Meetings of members. In the event of his absence or impediment, the legal representation of the Association and the Chairman's functions are assumed by the Deputy Chairman.

ART. 12) The dissolution of the Association must be approved by the extraordinary Meeting of members, convened for that purpose, with the favourable vote of three quarters of the members.

ART. 13) In case of dissolution, the assets and the goods of the Association shall be donated to another volunteer organization having similar goals and operating in an identical or similar field.

ART. 14) Anything not expressly provided for in these Bylaws, shall be subject to the provisions of the Italian Civil Code and the special laws on associations and volunteer work.

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Differenza Maternità

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