The World YWCA is a global women’s right movement.  In over 100 countries, we work with women, young women, and girls across faith, culture, and region. World YWCA is the largest organization of its kind, engaging millions of people each year. We believe that when women rise to leadership they transform power structures and policies around human rights, gender equality, peace, and justice. When women lead, they are empowered to address global agendas of sustainable development. World YWCA supports young women as they connect, inspire, mobilise and act for transformational change, for a sustainable world.


Our Purpose

The purpose of the World YWCA is to develop the leadership and collective power of women and girls around the world to achieve justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and a sustainable environment for all people.

Our Goal 2035

“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.” Read more

Our strategic priorities

Every four years we develop Strategic Frameworks to implement our vision for 2035. For the next quadrennium, we have three strategic priorities:

  • Management and governance excellence towards Goal 2035
  • Strategic partnerships and communication towards Goal 2035
  • Engagement and mobilisation of girls, young women and women towards Goal 2035

Read more


The YWCA was founded in the United Kingdom in 1855 by Lady Mary Jane Kinnaird and Emma Robarts. 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 100+ 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.


  • Mira Rizeq, President (Palestine)
  • Emma McCarthy, Treasurer (Australia)
  • Lucy Masiye , Vice Presidents(Zambia)
  • Mimi Han, Vice Presidents (Korea)
  • Caroline Midttun Rostrup ,Vice Presidents (Norway)
  • Isabella Diaz, Vice Presidents (Honduras)
  • Eman Abbasi , Vice Presidents (Jordan)/
  • Jamie Medicine Crane , Vice Presidents (Canada)

World Board Members

  • Dede Attiogbe (Togo)
  • Mtisunge Kachingwe (Malawi)
  • Bakhita Francis (India)
  • Margaret Jip Kou (Taiwan)
  • Rickol Julien (Grenada)
  • Adrianna Sosa (Haiti)
  • Erica Lewis (Great Britain)
  • Yvonne Schupbach (Switzerland)
  • Gabriela Cerda Oyarce (Chile)
  • Andrea Thaxton (USA)
  • Brittany Tibbo (Canada)
  • Charlotte Muggeridge (Aotearoa)

Nominations Committee

  • Dede Attiogbe (Togo)
  • Eman Abbasi (Jordan)
  • Young Hee Won (Korea)
  • Jeannette Van Dongen (Netherlands)
  • Valeria Rojas Borda  (Bolivia)

World Office

The staff members at the World YWCA headquarter support YWCA work around the world. All staff can be reached at worldoffice@worldywca.org. Read more about them here. 

  • Casey Harden, General Secretary (United States)
  • Aïda Rehouma, Director of Operations (Switzerland and Tunisia)
  • Suchi Gaur (Ph.D.), Director of Global Engagement and Impact (India)
  • Thabani Sibanda, Lead- Strategic Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation (Zimbabwe)
  • Helen Deslarzes, Finance Senior Specialist (Philippines)
  • Caterina Lemp Bitsacopoulos, Senior Specialist- Movement Building (Chile)
  • Daniela Zelaya Raudales, Projects Specialist (Honduras)
  • Victoria Genecand, Executive Office and Operations Assistant (Brazil)
  • Talisa Avanthay Garcia, Communications Associate (Switzerland and Ecuador)
  • Severine Romero, Finance Associate (France)

Find your YWCA

Member AssociationsHostels


Contact Us

World YWCA
16 L’Ancienne-Route
1218 Grand-Saconnex
Geneva Switzerland
Telephone: + 41 22 929 6040
Fax: + 41 22 929 6044
Email: worldoffice@worldywca.org

Send us an email