Current World YWCA News
Investment in women enables transformative change for communities and countries, for families and for defining a future where the indicators for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), will be met, because women will share the power for decision-making. These were some of the inspiring messages from the keynote speakers at the opening plenary of the Asia Pacific Breakthrough Alliance in Melbourne which started on December 2, 2009.
The World YWCA has endorsed '10 Reasons Why Criminalisation of HIV Exposure or Transmission Harms Women'. This document, launched on World AIDS Day 2009 highlights the ways in which criminalising HIV exposure or transmission exposes women to further dangers and violence rather than protect women from transmission. Endorsed by 21 other organisations from around the world, the document calls for the protection and advancement of women’s rights for effective responses to HIV.
The latest research on women’s health indicates that lack of contraception and unsafe sex are the crucial risk factors for death and disability in women of reproductive age (15 – 49 years old). Unsafe sex can result in unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortions, reproductive complications and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV.
Each year on November 29, the United Nations and the international community observe the International Day in Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The World YWCA, as a member of the Middle East Working Group with Focus on Palestine, presented a statement to the United Nations on November 30 calling on UN member states and civil society to act to stop the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands and to stand up for the rule of international law and international human rights and humanitarian law.
Every day, in many homes, women are beaten and abused. Far too many die. Violence against women is not only widespread—it is often fatal. Although the most common form of violence against women is domestic violence, women and girls face abuse and violence at every stage of their life. Violence against women is an extreme manifestation of gender inequality and human rights violation. It is a global problem, deeply ingrained in societies and has serious impacts on women’s health and well-being.
In a country and a region where many in the world believe HIV is non-existent, inspirational women leaders of the YWCA of Peru will participate in FORO, the Regional AIDS conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, in Lima, Peru from November 21 – 23, 2009 to ensure HIV positive women’s voices are kept on the agenda.
Almost fifteen years ago, delegates from all over the world gathered together in Beijing, China and adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BpfA). In the BpFA, 12 “Critical Areas of Concern” were identified as main obstacles to the advancement of women, including violence against women. Today, the whole world is preparing itself for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to be held from March 1 – 12, 2010 in New York. The African continent is taking the lead this week by reviewing the African women's condition and measuring the progress that has been made since governments made the commitment to implement the BpfA.
Our Rights, Our Bodies: Asia Pacific YWCAs Young Women’s Leadership Training to explore SRHR, HIV and violence against young women
With more than half of the world’s young people - 60% of 850 million aged 10 to 24 - living in Asia and the Pacific, young women of the region are decision makers, community leaders and active citizens. However, a snapshot of the challenges young women face in the Asia Pacific region highlight the importance of investing in young women’s leadership.
Arms Down! The message of disarmament was loud and clear at the recent Religions for Peace Global Campaign for Shared Security conference in San José, Costa Rica. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President Oscar Arias were on hand to offer support for the historic initiative and advance the notion of ‘shared security’. World YWCA Programme Assistant for The Americas, Caribbean, Asia and Pacific Caterina Lemp represented the YWCA movement to also call for disarmament for shared security and the redirection of 10% of arms expenditure to achieve urgently needed development as set forth in the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
The lack of critical resources for prevention and management of gender-based violence (GBV) is the focus of a three day gathering of women leaders from east and southern Africa currently being held in Harare , Zimbabwe. The regional training workshop, hosted by the YWCA of Zimbabwe in partnership with the World YWCA and UNFPA involves participation of 42 women from 10 countries and has drawn high-level participation of women leaders from YWCAs and other women’s organisations.