Current World YWCA News
Annually, November 25th marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and is the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign. Historically, the date is based the day of the tragic 1960 assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic; the killings were ordered by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930–1961). In 1981, activists marked November 25 as a day to combat and raise awareness of violence against women more broadly; on December 17, 1999, the United Nations (UN) adopted the resolution making November 25 the official date.
The 3rd International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) drew to a conclusion on Friday, November 15, 2013. The four day conference was themed ‘Full Access Full Choice’ and brought together stake holders and governments on issues relating to family planning, access to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), sexual commodities and contraceptives.
World YWCA Board Communiqué
Bangkok, October 18, 2013
The World YWCA Board met from October 14-18, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand, and were hosted by the YWCA of Thailand at the hostel and facilities of the YWCA of Bangkok.
The YWCA of Lebanon has been doing important work on violence against women. Over the last decade, Lebanon has been witnessing an active fight for the recognition of this problem. It has only recently been brought to the surface, so tensions and controversies still remain within the country.
The 11th International Dialogue on Population and Sustainable Development on the theme “Youth and Employment – Realizing the demographic dividend” provided a platform for discussion about and for the young generation regarding the importance of decent work in a changing world. To guarantee the success of the dialogue, youth engagement in its preparation and implementation was essential. Countries on focus this year were Indonesia, Kenya and Bangladesh. About 30 youth participants attended a pre-conference whose objective was to empower participants to have a strong voice during the dialogue and different discussions. Nelly Lukale, Youth Coordinator from the Kenya YWCA was one of the selected youth participants.
The 3rd International Conference on Family Planning has taken off on a grand scale in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia. Around the theme ‘Full Access Full Choice’, over the next four days, issues relating to access to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), sexual commodities and contraceptives, as well as best practices will be discussed. 3,300 delegates will be attending and 60 panels and over 420 individual presentations will be held.
On November 1st, 2013, at the World Council of Churches 10th General Assembly in Busan Korea, the World YWCA in partnership with the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) and Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA) held an intergenerational dialogue on engaging church leaders and their role in ending gender based violence, and the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG).
The World YWCA stands in solidarity with the people of the Philippines. In the aftermath of the devastating typhoon that ravaged the islands, killing and injuring thousands of people and leaving millions of people displaced and homeless in need of shelter, food, water and security, the World YWCA supports the call for an emergency response and international aid. Furthermore, the World YWCA calls upon its membership and friends to hold the people of Philippines deep in your prayers.
For over 100 years the YWCA and YMCA movements have come together each November to issue a joint call for prayer. Staff, members, friends and well-wishers of the World YWCA and World Alliance of YMCAs gathered at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on November 11, 2013 to open the Week of Prayer and World Fellowship.
Access to reproductive health care and protection from HIV remains an elusive goal for many women around the world. Sexual violence, cultural and religious stigmatization, and the silence that surrounds issues of sexuality and reproduction have created environments where women and girls, in particular, feel ill-prepared or too frightened to address the situations and choices that affect their sexual and reproductive lives. As a result, they are unable to protect themselves and others from disease and harm.