Current World YWCA News
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.
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.