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World YWCA Strategic Framework 2008-2012 article






As a global women’s membership movement, the World YWCA develops women’s leadership to advance our vision in 125 countries. We are a leading actor in the international women’s movement with an utreach to 25 million women and girls. Our work advances the Millennium Development Goals and embraces a human rights framework. We uphold strong core values, which include volunteerism, diversity, inclusiveness, accountability and integrity. The social action of theYWCA, with its roots in the Christian  faith, motivates women around the world to give through volunteerism and resources to improve lives and communities.


The development of leaders - girls, young women and women -alongside working toward the fulfillment of women’s and children’s human rights are the core business of the YWCA. This has sustained the movement from generation to generation and enabled its 150 years of existence. Capacity building of volunteers and staff ensures the sustainability of leadership both at the levels of overnance and implementation. It also prepares women and girls for broader leadership in influencing and shaping their societies.  The empowerment of women and girls is central to YWCA advocacy and services. In the last quadrennium, there has been a clear movement-wide focus on women’s health and HIV and AIDS, sustainable development and the human rights of women and children. As part of these efforts, YWCAs strive to a adopt a rightsbased approaches to advocacy and development. Our work seeks to ensure that women and children’s human rights are respected, promoted, protected and fulfilled.


Many YWCAs engage in advocacy work, from campaigns and lobbying policy makers to witness visits and rallies. Advocacy that links the practical experience of delivering programmes and services on the ground, in areas such as violence, HIV prevention, icrocredit and literacy, should be intensified and brought to the national, regional and international corridors of power. Our istinctive experience and ability to link local actors with global decision makers will be better utilised and enhanced.


This Strategic Framework for 2008-2012 builds on previous strategic plans. It is rooted in maximising the strengths of YWCAs in offering well-managed, relevant and responsive programmes and services whilst affirming the movement’s vision, purpose and core values. This framework sets out clear goals and objectives to ensure our organisational effectiveness and impact.


The YWCA strives to make organisational accountability, efficiency and effectiveness the emblem of the movement. The adoption of common standards of governance is a shared commitment to being accountable to stakeholders and communities. Accountability is not only an internal issue for YWCAs as we also work with others to develop and promote other NGOs standards including the International NGOs Accountability Charter and NGO Standards of Good Practice on HIV and AIDS programmes. 


We must respond to changing global realities, build on our successes and embrace change to improve our effectiveness and impact. This requires us to focus our efforts towards the achievement of our common vision.








The vision of the World YWCA is a fully inclusive world where justice, peace, health, human

dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained by women’s leadership.




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.




The World YWCA is a women’s volunteer membership movement that is founded on Christian

principles and inclusive of women of all faiths and backgrounds.  YWCAs are committed to diversity,

inclusiveness, tolerance and mutual respect, and operate with integrity and responsible accountability. YWCAs work for the self-determination of women and girls in all areas of life and value leadership that improves the status of women and children around the world and cares for the environment, including young women’s leadership.



1. Leadership development and capacity building | 2. Advocacy and services | 3. Good governance and accountability




Goal: To build the leadership of women and girls to develop the most effective solutions to the

issues affecting their lives and communities.




Ø       To strengthen the capacity of women leaders at all levels to influence change and participate

in decision making

Ø       To ensure a minimum of 25% of decision making positions, programmes and resources for

young women’s leadership development

Ø       To expand opportunities for the education and exposure of women and girls to global issues

and their local impact

Ø       To document evidence and build a knowledge base that demonstrates the credibility of

women’s leadership


Role of the World YWCA:


Expand resources and training opportunities for YWCA leaders on global advocacy priorities, good

governance and accountability Ensure a minimum of 25% of decision making positions, programmes and resources for young women’s leadership development Facilitate bilateral exchanges among YWCAs and global representation and learning opportunities Strengthen tools for research and impact assessment across the movement


Desired impact:

Women leaders, including young women, influencing and participating in all spheres of society and working actively in their communities to address violence, discrimination, poverty and HIV and AIDS




Goal: To promote the social, economic, cultural, religious and political rights of women and girls

through advocacy and related programmes and services




Ø       To advocate for laws, policies and practices that protect and promote the human rights of

women and children including the elimination of violence against women and girls

Ø       To enable women and girls to access information, resources and services in support of their

human rights especially the right to reproductive and sexual health, and prevention, care and

treatment of HIV and AIDS

Ø       To promote sustainable development including the economic empowerment of women and girls and women’s participation in peace building

Ø       To provide programmes and services that respond to the needs of children and women of all ages, including young women


Role of World YWCA:


Mobilise women’s leadership on advocacy priorities and create partnerships with other

organisations for greater impact


Produce evidence based resource materials that learn from the experience of the movement and

partners and contribute to the knowledge base for change


Share good practice on effective programmes and services that enable the empowerment of

women and girls


Analyse and raise awareness of the impact of globalisation on women and girls


Coordinate advocacy and representation at regional and international events, targeting

the United Nations and other multilateral institutions


Desired impact:


Women and girls exercising their fundamental human rights and freedoms.




Goal: To ensure YWCAs function at the highest level of organisational accountability, effectiveness and efficiency.




Ø       To strengthen and scale up the impact and outreach of YWCA programmes and services

Ø       To increase the visibility of the World YWCA vision, purpose and brand and safeguard the

organisation’s reputation

Ø       To strengthen organisational infrastructure and operations

Ø       To ensure effective succession planning and democratic decision making at governance

and management levels


Role of World YWCA:


Monitor and evaluate implementation of standards of good management and accountability and other NGO

accountability standards in YWCAs


Manage and expand the movement’s human and financial resources


Develop communications and resources that promote the common identity of the YWCA brand


Resource global governance, including the World Council and World Board


Desired impact:


A flexible and responsive YWCA movement with effective governance and management at all

levels, as well as strengthened cooperation, coordination and support mechanisms.




This strategic framework for 2008-2012 serves to guide the collective actions of YWCAs around the world towards a common vision and address the challenges we face in order to remain effective. It seeks to maximise the movement’s impact and resources by establishing clear priorities for work, while notimposing rigid rules or constraints. It embraces the diversity of member associations and is flexible to respond to the needs at all levels. Within this framework, there is an overarching commitment to use a rights-based approach to finding solutions, which will be supported by capacity building and resourcing at the global level. A crucial element will be improving how implementation and impact are measured. For this, global indicators will be developed to enable the movement to  eview, monitor and evaluate performance against goals and objectives.  This strategic framework calls upon every member  ssociation to reexamine existing work against these goals and objectives, and to identify strategic actions that can be taken locally towards  chieving the World YWCA vision. It also calls upon YWCAs to model good governance and accountability in the communities we  erve, and to work towards meeting globally agreed standards. Inherent in this strategic framework is recognition that there is strength in unity and by travelling down the same path, our destination is within reach.




Be it resolved that the World YWCA Council adopts the proposed World YWCA Strategic Framework for 2008-2012 to guide the work of the World YWCA and affiliated member associations over the coming quadrennium. All affiliated associations commit to operate within the strategic framework and report on implementation as part of the four year reporting process.


Moved by the World YWCA Executive Committee/Board

YWCA in Action

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Standards of Good Management and Accountability (SGMA) article
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World YWCA Board 2007-2011
Attended World YWCA Council & IWS July 2007 in Kenya article
World YWCA HIV/AIDS Policies article
Revised Constitution - การปรับปรุงธรรมนูญ article
World YWCA Day 2008 Theme article
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