News from our associations around the world and from the World YWCA in Geneva.
On 8 March, 2015 thousands, including 100 YWCA delegates, took to the streets of New York City on International Women’s Day, for a march led by UN Women, NGO CSW New York and special guests including the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, the First Lady of the City of New York, Chirlane McCray, Nobel laureate Leymah Roberta Gbowee, actors Paul Bettany and AnnaLynne McCord, and dozens of other women’s rights leaders and activists. The theme - “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality and Women’s Rights” – was the main chant of the march, with marchers bearing slogans demanding gender equality.
Witnessing the significant increase in Gender Based Violence in the country, and thanks to a Power to Change Fund grant, the YWCA of Belize was able to carry out a project to address this issue, from October 2013 to August 2014.
Each year, YWCA Canada launches the Rose Campaign to end violence against women and girls, which runs between November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Action on Violence Against Women and December 6, Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, and calls on Canadians to work for change. The Campaign takes its name from the Rose button that commemorated the murder of 14 young women at Montréal's l'École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989.
Every January, two young women land in Geneva for a year long whirlwind internship at the World YWCA - a new continent, a new country, a new culture, a new professional environment, new friends, new challenges, a unique experience,… and before they know it, the time has come for them to fly back home. Alemtsehay Zergaw (YWCA of Ethiopia) and Jenta Tau (YWCA of Solomon Islands) spent the year working respectively in the Communication and Programme Departments of the World office. Their main motivations in applying for the internship were to experience a new environment and different culture, to learn more about the YWCA movement and, especially, to learn new skills and knowledge which they could implement back home and share with their local YWCA.
December the 8th marked the opening ceremony of the Sthree Mela (meaning Voices of Sri Lankan Women) exhibition and conference held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sthree Mela was organised by the Association of Women affected by War with the key global, national and local women actors and activists on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). As a project Sthree Mela has been on-going for the past year with the vision of creating unity among women from diversified backgrounds, ethnicities and religions within Sri Lanka, striving for peace, reconciliation and sustainable development.