Current World YWCA News
“We the young women and girls of Africa, are at the epicentre of Africa’s development…We believe that our potential is harnessed by including us in the decision making process… help us realise our dream of an Africa where there is peace, climate justice, respect for human rights and gender equality. A continent free from corruption, free from violence against women and girls; where young women enjoy their right to education and are not at risk of being married off as child brides; where young women and girls are involved in the development process and its outcomes...We reiterate our call to our leaders to commit to ensuring that we achieve the Future Young Women Want ”
She sits poised in the room with a paper, a bag, and a notebook on her lap. She has moved us to tears on so many occasions these past few days. Actually there are three of them. Young girls coming out of a terrible war, each with a different perspective. One was at the epicentre of the latest explosion of hostilities, another was in a more peaceful place where the displaced fled to for safety, and the third was in school in a neighbouring country, dealing with the trauma of wondering about the safety of her relatives.
Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) is a women’s platform of over 55 women’s organisations from civil society across the continent of Africa, coordinated by Femmes Africa Solidarite (FAS). Launched in 2002 in Durban, South Africa, it is a space for civil organisations to formulate and promote a gender equality agenda for Africa. GIMAC members have since been tracking the implementation of the Solemn declaration on Gender Equality in Africa for effective promotion and protection of women’s human rights at the national and regional level.
The 22nd Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), which will focus mainly on Agriculture and food security, is taking place from January , 21 – 31, 2014 at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and will include a number of pre-summits.
Around the world more than 350,000 women die annually from complications during pregnancy or childbirth; the overwhelming majority live in developing countries. Adolescents under 16 face four times the risk of maternal death and morbidity than women over 20, and the practice of early marriage, which is still common in many communities in Africa and Asia, forces many young girls to drop out of school and into early sexual relations, where they are unprepared to negotiate safe sex, let alone family planning.
On January 15, 2014 the World YWCA had the honour of hosting Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, at the World YWCA Office in Geneva, Switzerland. Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka was in Geneva for a two day meeting convened by UN Women together with the Government of the Netherlands, addressing women’s participation and voices in the Syrian peace process. The meeting concluded with a statement by Syrian women civil society members and activists. The Syrian peace talks are about to resume at the United Nations this week in Geneva.
We Call for Revision of the“U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)”, and Unconditional Return of the land occupied by the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma
Late last year in October 2013, the World YWCA organised an Envisioning 2035 Roundtable in Taipei, Taiwan hosted by the YWCA of Taiwan. In addition to the meeting the World YWCA, the YWCA of Taiwan and roundtable delegates were invited to meet with His Excellency Ma Ying-jeou, President of Taiwan (Republic of China- ROC).
Another year is here - 2014. Should we really call it “new” year, and if so what’s new? After all, today can only be fully understood and have its contextual meaning if we reflect on yesterday. We can only plan for tomorrow with confidence if we have a good grounding of where we are today. Therefore as I share this message with you, I will take us back to our World YWCA experiences in 2013 and reflect on our key focus for this year as we significantly roll up our sleeves for 2015 and beyond.
The last month saw a sharp escalation of violence in South Sudan, with the usual impact on women and girls. The trauma has reverberated throughout the region, as the birth pangs of a new nation remain fresh.