Current World YWCA News
Once again the World YWCA took the centre stage in advocating against child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). On March 7, during the 25th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the World YWCA organised a side event - “Child, Early and Forced Marriage: A Human Rights Violation that CAN End in a Single Generation”, to discuss CEFM and to define it as a human rights violation.
On Tuesday 11, 2014 during the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the World YWCA hosted a ‘Intergenerational Faith and Culture Dialogue on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and HIV, and Ending Child, Early and Forced Marriage in a Single Generation”. The dialogue moderated by Hendrica Okondo, World YWCA Global Manager for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) was hosted in partnership with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the World Council of Churches, Norwegian Church Aid, Asia Pacific Resource Centre for Women (ARROW) and Christian Aid.
On the first day of the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women which is taking place in New York from March 10 to 21, 2014, it seems fitting that one of the first side events hosted at the United Nations would be an in-depth panel discussion on sexism and gender inequality.
On 7th March 2014, as part of the Official United Nations International Women’s Day celebrations UN Women held a high level panel featuring UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon, Former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, and President of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, John W. Ashe, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and Vice President of the World YWCA Board, Andrea Núñez. The World YWCA was invited to speak as the only civil society representative and in turn the voice of young women worldwide. Ms. Núñez spoke passionately on behalf of women, young women and girls everywhere highlighting the importance of access to sexual reproductive health services and rights education.
Today, marks the official opening of the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held annually in New York, USA at the United Nations headquarters. CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. A functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), it was established by Council resolution 11(II) of 21 June 1946. The World YWCA was in fact instrumental in lobbying for the creation of CSW as early as 1925 and has a rich history of pioneering women’s rights both during the League of Nations and the beginnings of the UN up to present day.
“Equality for women is progress for all”
On March 8, thousands of women will gather in their communities to celebrate International Women’s Day. March 8th is a day of recognition to all women who have pushed for their rights and contributed to great achievements over the past decades thanks to their determination and courage.
The World YWCA stands in solidarity with the YWCA of Ukraine in its call for peace. In the last three months civil unrest has erupted and as of last November 2013, when Mr Yanukovych, (Ousted President of Ukraine) rejected a far-reaching trade and association pact with the EU, instead preferring closer ties with Moscow. It has been widely reported that around 100 people were killed in clashes between anti-Yanukovych protesters and police in Kiev, many of them protesters shot by snipers.
“Without education my life will be something else”.Those were the words spoken by Enerstrida Mirriam Michelo, a young survivor of child, early and forced marriage.
Today the 28 February, 2014 the 57th session on the Convention of the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which is held at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland draws to a close. The World YWCA annually participates in the CEDAW sessions and engages in UN dialogues to contribute to the reporting process and promote women’s rights. During the 57th session the World YWCA observed the country reports of Cameroon, Finland and Sierra Leone.
World YWCA Board Member, Valerie Ho is running a marathon on 9th of March 2014, in Nagoya Japan, to raise funds for the World YWCA. Calling for support Valerie shared, “I am attempting my first FULL marathon in Nagoya, Japan this March, a very significant event on my bucket list! My goal this time is to raise US$10,000 for a more encompassing cause to further women's rights through an organisation that is very, very close to my heart - the World YWCA.”