The 27th World YWCA Council and the 4th International Women’s Summit remain an integral part of the World YWCA and an inspiring and very special experience for those who lived it.
During World YWCA Council and the International Women’s Summit (IWS) held in Zurich, Switzerland from 10-16 July 2011, the World YWCA and its partners held a wide array of informative and interactive sessions – there was something for everyone and, in fact, several enthusiastic participants shared with us that the difficulty was such in making a choice that they would have liked to be in two places at the same time…
On July 13, 2011, Peter Prove, Executive Director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), spoke at the International Women’s Summit on faith, livelihoods and human rights. EAA is a diverse global alliance of churches and church-related organisations and groups committed to collaborative advocacy for justice on HIV and AIDS and on food, with a growing practical experience of inter-faith cooperation.
The World YWCA had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Prove at IWS.
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together,”
Lilla Watson, Aboriginal elder, educator and activist.
The 2011 World YWCA Council celebrated the 20th anniversary of the World YWCA young women’s leadership one year internship programme. Interns from different years and continents joined to celebrate the day with the movement and to speak about the remarkable contribution of the programme to the movement.
“ I saw a child of about 10 years carrying a baby in her arms. I admired how healthy and huge the baby was. I shifted my gaze to the road ahead and the conversations in the bus. My attention was drawn back to the child because the baby was crying. With urgency, the child lifted her blouse and tried to feed her baby with no breasts. In fact her baby was half her own size. I was shocked and couldn’t bear the sight. I was overwhelmed, closed my eyes and prayed for her. It made me more determined to advocate for women, young women and girls rights to be respected and their right to say No to any form of Violence in which ever environment they live in” – Matilda Parau, YWCA of Papua New Guinea
Plenary 2 of the International Women’s Summit began with a strong message from Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA.
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) played an active role at the International Women’s Summit organised by the World YWCA as part of its World YWCA Council held in July 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Ruth Dreifuss, the second woman to be elected to the Swiss Government and the first female President of Switzerland, gave an inspiring keynote speech at the closing ceremony of the International Women’s Summit in Zurich, Switzerland on 12 July 2011, in which she urged women to take action. Ms Dreifuss has for many years been a renowned and well respected champion of women’s issues both in Switzerland and abroad. She has held a number of senior positions both within and without the Government and is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders. Ms Dreifuss actively supports many causes worldwide including the fight against racism, fair access to medication and the abolition of the death penalty.
Stephen Lewis has always been committed to improving the human condition. Mr. Lewis has held many impacting roles including that of Canadian politician, diplomat, United Nations Special Envoy for HIV and AIDS in Africa and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF. He is Chair of the Board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation which supports community-based organisations working to turn the tide of HIV and AIDS in Africa. Mr. Lewis is also Co-Director of AIDS-Free World, an international AIDS advocacy organisation, and is a visiting professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and serves as a Commissioner on the newly formed Global Commission on HIV and the Law.