Message from our General Secretary: Malayah Harper
It is really my pleasure to extend an invitation to celebrate, in solidarity, World YWCA Day—a day where we recognize our achievements and really also look to the future in terms of how we stand together in solidarity and create a better world.

When Lady Mary Jane Kinnaird and Emma Roberts established the World YWCA in 1855, they did so by creating a safe space for women, young women and girls. This idea has now blossomed to 109 countries around the world in 20,000 communities and at last count, we are reaching up to 30 million women and young women. This is a phenomenal achievement!

We are now one of the largest member-based women’s rights organizations in the world and our diversity really is our strength. I am proud to say that we have women from all faiths, from all races, classes, sexual orientation, beliefs and cultures. And this is what makes us strong and also makes us an organization and a member movement for all women working on the leadership and empowerment for all women everywhere and leaving no one behind.

I am also very pleased that young women are becoming at the center of our organization and that actually, we have reached our target collectively of over 25% of young women in leadership positions on boards and in the structures. Can we and should we do more? Yes definitely! and we have to do this in the context of the intergenerational model.

It is my pleasure then to say that the World Office is in the process of finalizing the Global Rise Up! Manual looking at young women’s leadership and human rights. This is integral to what we do and very essential to our movement and our solidarity. This will be available to all member associations; the tools, the advocacy, and the communications material, and I really encourage you to use it.

The world is at a pivotal stage. We know this. Things are changing rapidly and women’s human rights are under threat. There is an increase in racism and I know many of you face misogyny and an attack on faiths around the world. This is a time more than ever to stand together, as more than ever the world needs a YWCA movement.

As the world has changed so have we. So we need to look to the future to see how we reenergize, and how we reignite the solidarity that we are showing to each other and how we can together rise up and defeat the challenges and face the future. So I encourage you all to stand with me and on World YWCA Day rise up!

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Message for World YWCA Day also available in French and Spanish! Click the buttons below:

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