World council 2019,Johannesburg

Message from the General Secretary, World YWCA

Dear friends and colleagues,


This November, World YWCA will convene hundreds of the strongest on-the-ground advocates, brightest minds and leaders of the global YWCA movement at our quadrennial YWCA World Council in Johannesburg, South Africa . As has been the case for decades, the Council will be dynamic and transformative, and we will deliberate on how young women can transform power structures for gender equality and justice.

With champions representing the voices of tens of thousands of young women and women in communities from all over the world, we will engage, network, learn, and amplify the marginalized voices of young women and women, as well as shape how World YWCA will continue to lead and contribute to the global women’s movement.

In 2015, when World YWCA defined gender equality as a process, not a project or projects — with young women at its very core, we adopted our bold, transformative Goal 2035. We aim to, by 2035, have 100 million young women and girls transform power structures to create justice, gender equality and a world without violence and war; leading a sustainable YWCA movement, inclusive of all women.

Almost four years later, we have identified the mechanisms the YWCA and the women`s movement can use to realize our Goal and we are continue to deliberate on how to effectively and authentically engage and mobilize young women, based on their input, and especially that of marginalized young women. At World Council, this intergenerational discussion will continue.

At Council, young woman will engage and deliberate on the future of gender equality. She will share her experiences and wisdom and her challenges and successes, with a number of other women and young women leaders. She will learn from an inclusive, diverse and intergenerational women’s movement and we will learn from her. Here is a glimpse of how the World YWCA Council is a space for mutual learning and the sharing of stories.

You can support a young women leader to attend the World Council or be a part of the event by becoming a champion contributor in a number of ways. If you are inspired by the work and potential of young women leaders, in your home – your community – or in the news, please click here to learn how you can support a young YWCA leader.

In the coming year, you learn more about how YWCA will achieve Goal 2035 and you can be a part of young women transforming power structures. This inspired and ambitious vision will be most successful when we work together. Please join us!

Casey Harden

General Secretary, World YWCA