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Current World YWCA News

United Nations General Assembly held it’s first-ever panel discussion on child marriage

On 5 September, 2014 in New-York the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held it’s first-ever panel discussion on child marriage. The panel, requested by last year’s first General Assembly resolution on child marriage, focused on the post-2015 development agenda and the development costs of child marriage. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, World YWCA General Secretary was invited to speak on the panel, alongside Mr John Hendra, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy and Programme, UN Women, Ms Ndodeye Bassey-Obongha, Coordinator at Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI), Nigeria, Mr. Amjad Rabi, Chief of Social Policy and Economic Analysis Section, UNICEF Nepal and Dr. Anita Raj, Director of University of California San Diego’s Centre on Gender Equity and Health and Professor in the Division of Global Public Health.

Ending Child, Early and Forced Marriage

Last month the World YWCA participated in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Summit meeting held in Victoria Falls, Republic of Zimbabwe on 17th and 18th August 2014. The Summit took place under the theme: SADC Strategy for Economic Transformation: Leveraging the Region’s Diverse Resources for Sustainable Economic and Social Development through Value Addition and Beneficiation. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, World YWCA General Secretary and AU Goodwill Ambassador led a roundtable discussion organised by Plan International as part of their Child Marriage Symposium on ending child marriage. 

UNSCR 1325 International Women’s Conference is On

The ceasefire is on and so is our international women’s conference. Come to Palestine and see for yourself what is happening here in the occupied State of Palestine. Be a witness to the ongoing colonization and dispossession process that is ongoing in the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Be a participant in our groundbreaking international conference where we will be exploring women’s participation in peace, protections and prevention from all forms of violence, including gender-based violence. Help us develop a National Action Plan.

Violence against Women and the Measurements of Prevention in Honduras

Honduras suffers from rampant crime and impunity for human rights abuses. The institutions responsible for providing public security continue to remain marred by corruption and abuse. The YWCA of Honduras, in efforts to support women and raise awareness on human rights and with the assistance from the World YWCA Power to Change Fund developed an awareness called “Violence against Women and the Measurements of Prevention”.

The YWCA of Germany bottles sunshine!

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.

Palestine/Israel Peace Talks Collapse

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.

Developing Good Standards

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.

A World Free of Nuclear Weapons

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.

YWCA of Noyemberyan Window Campaign

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.

War in Gaza Must End – A Call to Action

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.