Current World YWCA News
The World YWCA annually recognises Human Rights Day which is celebrated globally on the 10th December. Historically the date marks the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR declaration was adopted in 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris, France. The document is more than as affirmation of international consensus; it has become a symbol of ‘fundamental freedoms’, which under no circumstances should face violation.
On December 8, 2013 the World YWCA and the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SafAIDS) held a joint intergenerational dialogue, “A Tweet@ble Intergenerational Dialogue: Investing in Young Women’s Leadership – Key to Changing the SRH Terrain in Africa”. The dialogue brought together men and women of all ages, as well as the voices of those men and women following the discussions online who contributed to the discussion by tweeting. These tweets were then projected live and the audience and panelists, as well as those attending the Intergenerational Dialogue, could directly react and tweet – everyone was participating!
6 December, 2013. Geneva, Switzerland
The World YWCA joins the world in mourning Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a towering champion of freedom and liberty. He made many personal sacrifices for his country, South Africa, for Africa and beyond. This was a journey he shared with the his family, friends the people of South Africa. With his death, the world’s conscience is pricked, for we are all reminded of the deep values he stood for.
The World YWCA welcomes the resolution passed on 21 November where over 100 states co-sponsored a calling for a panel discussion on child, early and forced marriage and the post-2015 development agenda at the UN General Assembly next year.
The International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) is the most important international AIDS conference in Africa. It takes place once every two years, alternating between Francophone and Anglophone African countries. The 17th ICASA conference is being held in Cape Town, South Africa from 7-11 December, 2013.
The National Office of the YWCA of Ethiopia is located in quiet haven deep in the heart of Addis Ababa. Established in 1952 by the royal family, the Association was suddenly closed down by the Derg regime after 22 years of operation. After pressure from women and communities in 2000 urging the government to allow its return, the YWCA of Ethiopia was re-opened. With the government’s policy on such organisations and the previous forced shut down, the Association had lost all its assets (land and buildings) as well as thousands in savings.
This year, once again, we observe World AIDS Day, December 1st 2013, with a stark reminder that 35.3 million people are still living with HIV globally. Over 50% are women and, of these, 42% are young women between the ages of 15-24 years (UNAIDS). In Sub-Saharan Africa over 58% of the people living with HIV/AIDS are women of reproductive age.
Since the adoption in 1977 of November 29 as the annual observance of solidarity with the Palestinian People, the United Nations (UN), the World YWCA and the international community have stood firm in requesting that human rights and international law be protected and affirmed for all. In addition, the World YWCA affirms the role of women in peace building and conflict resolution as enshrined in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary, World YWCA
The international development community is abuzz at the moment with a lot of interesting talk and ideas about where we are headed with the post 2015 agenda, where we stand in relation to the MDGs and how far we have progressed towards the ICPD goals. Against this backdrop, sexuality, HIV and young people’s lives are on my mind.
The Geneva NGO Committee on the Status of Women (hereafter, the Committee), which represents about 40 international NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), is a substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs (CoNGO) in consultative status with the United Nations. Established in 1973, the Committee engages with the United Nations system to raise awareness and action on the status of women.