Current World YWCA News
Open discussions about sex, violence and what goes on inside the privacy of one’s home are considered taboo in Burundi, especially in rural areas. Rural women are the most prone to violence, often daily, and have the least access to information and justice. It is also not uncommon for girls in schools to face sexual violence and intimidation from their teachers and peers. In order to address the problem of violence in rural areas the YWCA of Burundi’s Power to Change Project focuses on providing information, holding perpetrators of violence accountable and changing attitudes.
Violence against Women affects women around the world and it is deeply rooted in all societies, cultures, traditions and structures. In the struggle for women‘s rights, YWCAs are actively involved in programmes that respond to the needs of survivors of violence and that mobilise communities against violence. Campaigning is one of the ways that YWCAs are working to address gender inequality and VAW. One such campaign is the YWCA Week Without Violence that takes place in the third week of October each year.
The deadline for the second round for the World YWCA Power to Change Fund 2013 is fast approaching! Member Associations are invited to apply to the Fund by August 31, 2013.
Have you applied to the World YWCA Internship Programme? The deadline, 19 July, is three weeks away and it would be a pity to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
World YWCA welcomes the unanimous adoption of Security Council resolution 2106 on conflict-related sexual violence
Early this week, on the 24th of June, 2013 the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a new Resolution, 2106 to strengthen efforts to end impunity for conflict-related sexual violence. The Resolution 2106 emphasises more consistent and rigorous investigation and prosecution of sexual violence crimes as a central aspect of deterrence, and ultimately prevention. Speaking during the Security Council thematic open debate on “Addressing Impunity: Effective Justice for Crimes of Sexual Violence in conflict”, Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, stated “Those who hold power and influence have a special duty to step forward and be part of a global coalition of champions determined to break this evil. Sexual violence, whenever and wherever it occurs, is a vile crime. It must be exposed and met with the anger and action that it deserves.”
A group of young women are taking grim body image statistics into their own hands with a campaign encouraging their peers to see themselves in a more positive way. Today, 27th June 2013, the YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand is launching Love Notes – a social media campaign –in a bid to get young women viewing their bodies for what they can do, rather than what they look like.
At the YWCA World Council in 2011, a group of dynamic young women had an idea. They realised the power and unity of the global movement and had a strong desire to unite a critical mass of young women from North American and the Caribbean together for a ‘Young Women’s Leadership Conference’. Thus, the notion of this conference was born, and women from Canada and the USA connected with young women from Haiti and the US Virgin Islands. Eventually their will transformed into action and together the two regions comprehensively worked for two years to make this idea a reality.
The International Leadership Institute for Young Women (ILI), themed “Her Future – The Future Young Women Want”, was held in Bangkok from 23-28 May, 2013. 53 young woman representatives from over 45 countries around the world participated in this exciting event.
The 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) came to a close on 17 June, 2013. Throughout the HRC the World YWCA has engaged in the various sessions including informal consultations on draft resolutions, co-hosting and co-sponsoring side events, leading the Women’s Rights Caucus of the NGO CSW Geneva, delivering an oral statement on violence against women (VAW) and providing recommendations for the resolution -Accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women: Preventing and responding to rape and other forms of sexual violence, led by Canada.
On 7 June, 2013, close to 400 YWCA USA leaders convened in Washington, D.C. for the 2013 Annual Conference and Women of Distinction Awards Gala. This annual event is organised by the YWCA USA as a way of honouring extraordinary women from across the United States who have demonstrated excellence, leadership and integrity in their fields and in the community, serving as role models for other women and the world.