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Strategic Framework 2016 - 2019

For over 150 years, the World YWCA movement has advanced the status of women and girls worldwide, promoting young women’s active leadership on issues affecting their lives, and bringing the voices of women from grassroots communities into global debates.

History speaks to the progress that women have made and yet the daily reality for many women, young women and girls around the world - which includes hardship and discrimination - underlines the urgent need to step up efforts to create positive change and to maintain a strong relevance to the experiences of women as individuals, in their homes, communities and countries.

As the YWCA movement continues to expand and reinforce its impact on the lives of women, young women and girls worldwide, the YWCA movement  continues to learn from its past actions and experiences. However it must now shift its focus to face the challenges of the future.  Its focus and strategies need to be bold, transformative, visionary and achievable. Its collective impact aims to contribute to the 2030 agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs with specific reference to goal 3, 5 and 17).  The SDGs cover economic, social and environmental issues ranging from inequality, poverty, climate change, infrastructure, energy, industrialisation, consumption and production, health, education, ecosystem, biodiversity and oceans.

“Our Bold and Transformative Goal” states that: By 2035, 100 million young women and girls transform power structures to create justice, gender equality and a world without violence and war; Leading a sustainable, YWCA movement, inclusive of all women. This goal describes the collective impact we intend to achieve and defines who want to be by 2035.

For the next 20 years, the YWCA movement will develop five Strategic Frameworks that will serve as blueprints for implementation of vision 2035. These four year Strategic Frameworks will guide the movement towards achieving vision 2035. Individual YWCA Member Associations will incorporate the essential elements of the vision 2035 Goal, along with the Strategic Frameworks, into their own programmes and work. Member Associations will also ensure that their Boards are accountable for monitoring the implementation of these commitments. It thus remains crucial that we together as a movement engage in and generate a dialogue around the Strategic Frameworks before each World Council. 


In order to fulfil its vision and purpose through “Our Bold and Transformative Goal”, the YWCA movement is committed to focus and strengthen its capacity and its role both within and outside the movement. The YWCA movement will engage with the priorities of all its constituencies and respond to the realities of the world both today and of tomorrow by focusing on three strategic priorities:

  • Strengthening Young Women and Girls’ Transformative Leadership
  • Realising Human Rights
  • Sustaining the YWCA  Movement

Key Strategic Actions

This strategic framework includes key strategic elements necessary to contribute to achieving vision 2035, thereby defining the shifts that need to happen internally within the movement in order to achieve this goal. The movement will focus on mobilising and investing in young women's empowerment, rights and leadership, innovating within an intergenerational movement and bbuilding sustainability for the YWCA movement.  The proposed actions operate both distinctly and are interrelated and enabling of each other.

YWCA movement will:

  • Increase targeted use of information and communication technologies
  • Invest in more significant programmes related to education, economic empowerment, and technology for young women and girls
  • Focus on recruitment and retainment of young women and girls into the YWCA member associations and building the membership base
  • Optimize the use of shared resources throughout the movement
  • Explore social enterprise as a means of securing economic sustainability
  • Build effective partnerships from within the YWCA movement including external partners from the business, finance, philanthropic and development sectors
  • Ensure continuous improvement and strengthening of our work through rigorous monitoring and evaluation.
Download the 2016-2019 World YWCA Strategic Framework: