The World Young Women’s Christian Association (World YWCA) is a global movement working for the empowerment, leadership and rights of women, young women and girls in more than 120 countries. Our members and supporters include women from many different faiths, ages, backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. We are all working toward the common goal that “by 2035, 100 million young women and girls will transform power structures to create justice, gender equality and a world without violence and war; leading a sustainable YWCA movement, inclusive of all women”.
- Strengthening young women and girls’ transformative leadership.
- Realising human rights.
- Sustaining the YWCA movement.
- 122 countries
- 20,000 communities
- 25 million women and girls reached
The World YWCA was founded in 1855, by the philanthropist Lady Mary Jane Kinnaird, and the committed Christian Emma Robarts. They addressed the needs of single women arriving from rural areas to join the industrial workforce in London, by offering housing, education and support with a “warm Christian atmosphere”.
The movement spread quickly across the world and has been at the forefront to advance women’s rights in areas such as the European refugee crisis after World War II, the civil rights struggle in the USA and apartheid in South Africa. Read more
Every four years, the World YWCA Council meets to make decisions on the World YWCA’s policy, constitution, strategic direction and budgets. The Council includes representatives from the 108 member associations that are affiliated to the global YWCA movement.
The World Council also elects 20 women to the World Board, the governing body of the World YWCA, which includes representatives from all regions. The World Board works closely with the World YWCA office, which handles day-to-day operations for the organisation in accordance with its policies, strategic direction and budgets. Read more about our Constitution and our Policies.
• Deborah Thomas-Austin, President (Trinidad & Tobago)
• Emma Bird, Treasurer (Australia)
• Haifia Baramki, Vice President (Palestine)
• Kathryn Ungard, Vice President (Canada)
• Marissa Chester, Vice President (Trinidad and Tobago)
• Mimi Han, Vice President (Korea)
• Niveditha Sharat Chandran, Vice President (Aotearoa/NewZealand)
• Andrea Michelle Gradiz Díaz, Vice President (YWCA of Honduras)
World Board Members
• Angele Koloche Biao (Benin)
• Caroline Midttun Rostrup (Norway)
• Jamie Medicine Crane (Canada)
• Jenna Foster (USA)
• Jolien Roetman (The Netherlands)
• Kuena Diaho (Lesotho)
• Lucy Masiye (Zambia)
• Melanie Gentner (Germany)
• Nagham Nassar (Lebanon)
• Rajini Sureka Wijerupa (Sri Lanka)
• Silvina Mariel Gerbaldo (Argentina)
• Valerie Felicia Ho (Taiwan)
• Angele Koloche Biao (Benin)
• Lynne Kent (Canada)
• Roslyn Dundas (Australia)
• Younghee Won (South Korea)
The staff members at the World YWCA headquarter support YWCA work around the world. All staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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