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Current World YWCA News

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health Partners Forum

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) partners’ forum officially opened June 30, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa and is co-hosted by Government of South Africa, PMNCH, Countdown to 2015, A Promise Renewed, and the independent Expert Review Group. The World YWCA is participating with a delegation of six young women being led by Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, World YWCA General Secretary and Hendrica Okondo, World YWCA Global Programme Manager on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV/AIDS. Eight hundred participants from around the world, including leading representatives from government, NGOs, academia, the private sector and international organisations have gathered in Johannesburg.

FGM: Zero tolerance must be reached

On June 16, 2014 a high-level panel debate was held by the UN Human Rights Council on the identification of good practices in combatting female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM is a human rights violation that intersects across both sexual reproductive health (SRHR) and rights and violence; it remains internationally recognised as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. The World YWCA attended the discussion as SRHR and violence against women are two of the organisation’s key priorities. 

The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

The Foreign Secretary and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, co-chaired the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (SVIC) on 10-13 June 2014 at ExCel London, United Kingdom. This was the largest gathering ever brought together on the subject, with 1,700 delegates and 129 country delegations including 79 Ministers. The Summit agreed practical steps to tackle impunity for the use of rape as a weapon of war, and to begin to change global attitudes to these crimes. The World YWCA movement was represented by the YWCA of Great Britain delegates: Heather Stirton, General Secretary of the YWCA of Great Britain and Laurie Gayle, YWCA of Great Britain Board Member.

High Level Panel: Preventing and Eliminating Child, Early and Forced Marriage

On June 23, 2014, at the 26th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) the council convened on High Level Panel on Preventing and Eliminating Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM). Back in September 2013, the HRC adopted the first-ever UN resolution on child, early and forced marriage. A diverse group of 107 countries affirmed that the choice to marry is an adult decision that should be informed and made freely without fear, coercion or undue pressure.

Call for Peace in Palestine

In light of the tragic disappearance of the three Israeli teenage settlers living in the West Bank, Palestine, the YWCA of Palestine has issued an action alert condemning the alleged kidnappings and calling for the immediate end of the brutal Israeli siege of the West Bank and Gaza. The World YWCA stands in solidarity with the YWCA of Palestine and calls for peace and an end to the on-going violence.

Investing in quality jobs for young people

On June 18, 2014 the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon visited the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to hold a dialogue with young people on the importance of investing in quality jobs for young people. The World YWCA was invited to participate in the discussion and four young women attended.

Young Women Engaging with African Union Summit

The 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) will be held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from 20th to 27th June 2014 under the theme: “2014 Year of Agriculture and Food Security, Marking 10th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)”.

Strengthening Efforts to Eliminate Violence against Women

The 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council opened this week Tuesday 10 June, 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. During her opening statement Ms. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Right, noted the continued gender based discrimination and violence suffered by women and girls all over the world. Ms. Pillay also drew attention to the creation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), some 20 years ago.

Dynamic and challenging leadership training in Myanmar

In a weeklong dynamic and challenging leadership training in Myanmar, young women and women of the YWCA are heading home with bold and transformative approaches to intergenerational leadership. From the 2-8 June, Yangon in Myanmar was home from women of the YWCAs of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Solomon Islands, Thailand, India and Nepal. During the week, many friends were made, and so were plans on how to change the world for women and young women.

Women's Human Rights: Pushing Forward

Today marks the opening of the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC26) it will take place from the 10 -27 June, 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.