Current World YWCA News
It is true that in today’s world, or, more precisely, in society at large, youth have been that crucial tipping point for change. Young people have often been both the initiators and sustainers of freedom and civil rights movements, whether in India, South Africa, Germany, Liberia, the USA or many other countries. These movements were founded on the passion of a, sometimes considered infamous age group that is very often denied recognition for their actions until much later.
In the Solomon Islands, women’s progress towards equal representation in leadership positions is painstakingly slow. At a community level, the potential of young women to bring about positive change is rarely acknowledged. Without a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, widespread abuse of young women’s human rights, including physical and sexual violence, are common. With this in mind, the YWCA of Solomon Islands developed the Rise Up! Young Women’s Leadership Programme, which teaches young women how they can become leaders, transform their communities and claim their rights.
With no comprehensive sexuality education in schools and limited access to information and services, misinformation about young people’s sexual and reproductive health is abundant. Access to information about sexual and reproductive health is limited, with as many as 58% of school students reporting that they are dissatisfied with the amount of reproductive health information they receive. As a result the YWCA of Sri Lanka’s Young Women Lead Change project aims to change this by training young women as peer educators and supporting them to provide relevant, evidence based information about sexual and reproductive health to other young people in their communities. The project is funded through the World YWCA Power to Change Fund with the support of the Australian Government Aid Agency (AusAid).
The YWCA of Belize has developed comprehensive programmes which directly address the needs of the young people within the local community. Their project titled “Empowering, Engaging and Informing our Youth”, operates from an intergenerational approach enabling transformative leadership and empowering young people especially young women to take control of their own lives. In this regard the project aims to develop young leaders to be self-sustainable, lead healthy lives, be informed of potential opportunities and equipped with the necessary skills as desired. The project is supported through the World YWCA Power to Change Fund Grant.
The long period of civil war and crisis has left Liberia with grave problems of violence, exploitation and an increase in trafficking of women. The YWCA of Liberia is known for its work on the issue of violence against women and awareness around sexual and reproductive health rights. They have been a long-time service provider of shelters for women in vulnerable situations.
The World YWCA and its global movement was delighted with the recent announcement from the office of the United Nations Secretary-General that Ms. PhumzileMlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of South Africa, was appointed as the new Executive Director of UN Women. She will be taking over from Michelle Bachelet from Chile, who resigned in March this year from the position.
Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution states
‘Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.'
A l’occasion de la 55ème session du comité pour l’élimination de la discrimination à l’égard des femmes qui se tient à l’ONU jusqu’au 25 juillet, la Ligue Nationale des Associations Autochtones Pygmées du Congo (LINAPYCO) en partenariat avec Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) et World Young Women’s Christian Association (WYWCA) a organisé une manifestation « Spécial RDC », le 09 juillet dernier. Des femmes congolaises ont ainsi dénoncé les formes de discrimination et les violences sexuelles dont sont victimes leurs congénères en RDC. Elles souhaitent que tout ceci cesse.
The ICPD International Conference on Human Rights took place in The Netherlands from 7-10 July 2013. Part of the UN mandated review of the 1994 ICPD Programme of Action, the conference brought together over 300 representatives from government , civil society and UN agencies, as well as experts and human rights defenders to identify key achievements, barriers and emerging challenges to delivering the goals of ICPD. The World YWCA was represented by Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, World YWCA General Secretary and two young women champions Paulini Turagabeci from the YWCA of Fiji and Lucrece Funmilayo Falolou from the YWCA of Rwanda.
The World YWCA, in partnership with AusAID, has launched a project – Mobilising Young Women’s Leadership and Advocacy – where over 500 young women leaders have been trained to understand their rights and be agents of change in their communities. The project was developed by young women for young women over a two-year period with the specific objective of mobilising young women’s leadership across Asia and the Pacific.