Current World YWCA News
During World Council 2011 in Zurich, Monika Simeon - General Secretary of the YWCA Namibia and World YWCA Board Member - approached the delegates of the YWCA of Germany. Monika wanted to meet the German delegates to exchange thoughts on the painful history that their two countries shared. The women struck up a friendship and a couple of months later the YWCA of Germany invited Monika to be their guest speaker at their Annual Meeting in October 2011. During her speech Monika gave a vivid report of her work and the challenges faced by the YWCA of Namibia. Her words - “The YWCA is not about money, it is all about skills” – struck a chord with the ladies from the YWCA of Germany and they decided to partner with the YWCA of Namibia.
The conflict in Gaza and Israel continues as the Peace Talks mediated by Egypt, have now collapsed and the ceasefire has been broken. Hamas is demanding an end to blockade of Gaza and an end to the occupation; whereas Israel is demanding the demilitarization of Gaza. To date 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis’ have been killed since the violence began in July of this year 2014. The current war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas is the third in six years.
By Mary Pat Moore, a Former World YWCA Vice President and Former Member of the World Executive Committee 1999-2007
When you press "refresh" on your computer, your computer evaluates how it is working and gives you a refreshed screen. When a YWCA applies the Standards of Good Management and Accountability (SGMA) to itself, a refreshed YWCA is present in its community.
The Nagasaki Peace Messengers made their annual visit to Geneva, Switzerland this week to present their petition demanding nuclear disarmament at the United Nations. So far they have collected over one million signatures from around the world. The Nagasaki Peace Messengers visited the World YWCA office and have been making this journey for the last fifteen years as every year they are invited to speak in Geneva at the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, to relate the horrific crime against humanity that occurred in Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945 at the hands of the United State of America and the ongoing harmful effects of the atomic bomb.
The YWCA of Armenia is part of the World YWCA’s developing group associations and will hopefully become a full member association of the World YWCA at the World Council 2015. As a country Armenia has a rich history, land locked between Turkey and Azerbaijan, it has been part of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th Century and then the Soviet Union. The country gained full independence from Russia in 1991, but not without major disputes. Due to the closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan, the country suffers from economic isolation. Therefore, poverty and unemployment are persistent and at the start of 2013, 30% of the population was still living below the poverty line.
As a new 72 hour ceasefire between Hamas and the State of Israel is underway the World YWCA calls for immediate action to end the suffering of the Palestinian people and end the Israeli occupation. The Palestinian people and all affected by this conflict need a lasting solution that can demonstrate accountability and a revival of a human rights framework that has disappeared. The war on Gaza has violated the fundamental human rights and the shelling of civilians in United Nations (UN) shelter has undermined the legal understanding of, and the respect for humanitarian international law and protection of those who seek refugee under the UN flag. To date since the recent attack of Gaza by Israel, 1,939 Palestinians including 452 children and 235 women have been killed. Israel has suffered the loss of 66 soldiers killed in combat.
The city of Bangalore has been in the spotlight recently for a surge of reported sexual brutality, the most heinous being the rape of a six year old girl within the school premises. Citizens marched out into the streets enraged as the atrocity of the occurrence was far too much to bear for the millions of parents, teachers, care givers and activists.
Ebola Virus outbreak in West Africa is the world's deadliest to date. According to the UN, 887 people have died as health officials in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone struggle to control the virus. Ebola is a viral illness of which the initial symptoms can include a sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Subsequent stages include vomiting, diarrhoea and - in some cases - both internal and external bleeding.
Violence against women (VAW) in the family otherwise known as domestic violence exists throughout the world and over 70 YWCA member associations work directly on VAW. Women from all social levels and backgrounds fall victim to this form of gender-based violence. The YWCA of Belarus is one association that works tirelessly on the issue and has contributed to their country UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) shadow report.
Dame Ester contracted the HIV virus from a blood transfusion after giving birth to her second child. Though her husband knew how she had become infected, he left her – the stigma of living with a person that is HIV positive was too much to bear. Today Dame Ester lives alone with her two children; she has been abandoned by her husband who left her for another woman. However, he still comes home to bring his dirty laundry for washing and to eat. Since she became HIV positive Dame Ester has lost all security in her day-to-day life and her dignity too.