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Annual Report 2010-2011

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In the build up to the 27th World YWCA Council and the 4th International Women’s Summit (July 2011), momentum, increased motivation and concrete actions shaped our commitment to meet the goals of the 2007-2011 World YWCA Strategic Framework during the reporting period (April 2010-March 2011).

Developing the leadership of women and girls; promoting the social, economic, cultural, religious and political rights of women and girls; and ensuring good governance and accountability of the YWCA movement worldwide, remained our principle focus. Throughout the year, the World YWCA continued to give hope to women and girls across the globe, thanks to the relentless effort and commitment of staff, volunteers and partners, and despite an increasingly challenging resource constrained environment.  

Women and girls in many regions continue to be among the most vulnerable to HIV, thus advocating for comprehensive care and support for people living with HIV remains a global priority. As the UN prepared for the 2011 High Level Meeting on HIV through a series of dialogues and consultations, the World YWCA used this platform to raise awareness on the importance of sexual and reproductive rights in efforts to address HIV among women.

Workshops, training, intergenerational knowledge-sharing opportunities on themes ranging from violence against women and human rights to strategic planning, continue to be among the World YWCA’s mainstays to empower women, and especially young women, on the regional, national or community level. While the World YWCA supported young women to have the unique opportunity to participate in global platforms, including the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the World Youth Conference, the organisation used these spaces to influence the global policy agenda.

The official establishment of UN Women, and the subsequent appointment of Michelle Bachelet as its first Executive Director, was a moment of celebration for women worldwide, and was, for the World YWCA, the positive outcome of more than five years as an active member of the global lobby behind this United Nations decision. A decision which came at a time when women needed a significant space and voice as well as quality resources to drive the gender equality and women’s empowerment agenda.

Meanwhile, the persistence of human and natural disasters and crises continued to take a toll on women and girls across the globe, as they were displaced and devastated by loss of family, livelihood and protection, and the YWCA offered its support wherever possible. The earthquake in Haiti, floods in Australia and continued conflict in the Middle East and other parts of the world reminded us yet again of the need to protect our environment and sustain our commitment to working on peace with justice.

The outstanding commitment of staff, the support of YWCAs worldwide, the solid affirmation of key donors and partners and the guidance of the Board were the key pillars of our success during this period. It is the spirit of fellowship and the deep values of sharing, nurturing and volunteering, based on our Christian traditions that served as the anchors of our innovation and success.

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