The World Young Women's Christian Association (World YWCA) is a global network of women leading social and economic change in over 120 countries worldwide. The World YWCA advocates for peace, justice, human rights and care for the environment and has been at the forefront of raising the status of women for more than a century. The World YWCA develops women’s leadership to find local solutions to the global inequalities women face. Each year, it reaches more than 25 million women and girls through work in over 20,000 communities. Through advocacy, training and development the World YWCA empowers women, including young women, to lead social change.
This grassroots development experience shapes the organisation’s global advocacy agenda. The World YWCA work is inspired by Christian principles and a commitment to women’s full and equal participation in society. It is a volunteer membership movement inclusive of women from many faiths, backgrounds, and cultures. The World YWCA affirms that women’s human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated.
A human rights framework and the Millennium Development Goals guide the YWCA advocacy and services, which seek to empower women and girls and bring practical experience from the community level to national, regional and international policy makers. The movement is also guided in its work by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action, the Declaration of Commitment on HIV and AIDS, as well as the agenda of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
The World YWCA works in collaboration with many partner organisations and networks to advance its advocacy and programme work, including women’s networks, ecumenical, youth and international organisations, and UN agencies operating with women and young women.