World YWCA Day General Secretary's message to YWCAs
published: 21 Apr 2009 16:32
last modified: 21 Apr 2009 17:47
Each year, we come together to celebrate this important day to honour the leadership within our communities. The World YWCA was formed over 150 years ago and is present today in 125 countries and reaches over 22,000 communities - that is where the leadership of this movement stands as we celebrate womens giving today.
We invite you to the World YWCA Council in 2011 where we will reflect together on a very special theme: women creating a safe world. The YWCA as a movement affirms that every day women are creating a safe world around them; every day women are finding creative and innovative programmes, projects and activities that ensure safety. But the women of the world are also asking for accountability. Whilst working to ensure their safety and security they are asking their local government, school administration, church leadership to take creative steps to stop the violence and provide adequate regulations, laws and resources. Women are asking for an end to impunity because they want to live lives free of violence, free of HIV, free of disease and free of poverty.
At the World YWCA level we want to concentrate our energy, knowledge, expertise and resource to prevent violence against women, prevent HIV and AIDS, prevent maternal deaths, sexually transmitted infection and early marriages. We join with the leadership of women living with HIV because it is their leadership that gives us the practicle every day experience of what it means to initiate interventions that respond to reality.
But our intervention cannot be sustainable unless and until we put young womens leadership at the centre of this effort. It is the leadership of young women and girls that ensure todays interventions are sustainable tomorrow.
Make this World YWCA day special and honour a woman leader in your community. Encourage your community to give to the YWCA through their expertise and knowledge. You continue to give to the World YWCA through the Power to Change Fund, which you have nurtured and today we are proud to have USD 10 million in the endowment fund. It is through your giving that we are able to sustain the programmes in our communities.
The World YWCA day is also a day of celebration. We celebrate your leadership today - your personal commitment as an individual, your personal commitment as a woman leader within your household, as a member of your community, political party, school development committee, health care committeewhichever space of leadership you hold. It is that leadership, given or self-affirmed, that we honour today on World YWCA Day. Today, we are saying that it is possible to have a different world. Together we can create a different world; a world free of violence, free of HIV - where humanity is celebrated and human dignity is a lived experience every day, every where.