World YWCA Council 2011 and International Women's Summit
The 27th World YWCA Council and the 4th International Women’s Summit remain an integral part of the World YWCA and an inspiring and very special experience for those who lived it.
During World YWCA Council and the International Women’s Summit (IWS) held in Zurich, Switzerland from 10-16 July 2011, the World YWCA and its partners held a wide array of informative and interactive sessions – there was something for everyone and, in fact, several enthusiastic participants shared with us that the difficulty was such in making a choice that they would have liked to be in two places at the same time…
On July 13, 2011, Peter Prove, Executive Director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), spoke at the International Women’s Summit on faith, livelihoods and human rights. EAA is a diverse global alliance of churches and church-related organisations and groups committed to collaborative advocacy for justice on HIV and AIDS and on food, with a growing practical experience of inter-faith cooperation.
The World YWCA had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Prove at IWS.
The 2011 World YWCA Council celebrated the 20th anniversary of the World YWCA young women’s leadership one year internship programme. Interns from different years and continents joined to celebrate the day with the movement and to speak about the remarkable contribution of the programme to the movement.
“ I saw a child of about 10 years carrying a baby in her arms. I admired how healthy and huge the baby was. I shifted my gaze to the road ahead and the conversations in the bus. My attention was drawn back to the child because the baby was crying. With urgency, the child lifted her blouse and tried to feed her baby with no breasts. In fact her baby was half her own size. I was shocked and couldn’t bear the sight. I was overwhelmed, closed my eyes and prayed for her. It made me more determined to advocate for women, young women and girls rights to be respected and their right to say No to any form of Violence in which ever environment they live in” – Matilda Parau, YWCA of Papua New Guinea
Plenary 2 of the International Women’s Summit began with a strong message from Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA.
Ruth Dreifuss, the second woman to be elected to the Swiss Government and the first female President of Switzerland, gave an inspiring keynote speech at the closing ceremony of the International Women’s Summit in Zurich, Switzerland on 12 July 2011, in which she urged women to take action. Ms Dreifuss has for many years been a renowned and well respected champion of women’s issues both in Switzerland and abroad. She has held a number of senior positions both within and without the Government and is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders. Ms Dreifuss actively supports many causes worldwide including the fight against racism, fair access to medication and the abolition of the death penalty.
Stephen Lewis has always been committed to improving the human condition. Mr. Lewis has held many impacting roles including that of Canadian politician, diplomat, United Nations Special Envoy for HIV and AIDS in Africa and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF. He is Chair of the Board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation which supports community-based organisations working to turn the tide of HIV and AIDS in Africa. Mr. Lewis is also Co-Director of AIDS-Free World, an international AIDS advocacy organisation, and is a visiting professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and serves as a Commissioner on the newly formed Global Commission on HIV and the Law.
“It’s going be an extraordinary week” said Juli Dugdale, World YWCA Global Manager Movement Building and Women's Leadership and Focal Point Asia and Pacific, welcoming the more than 350 participants at the Movement building and Leadership Pre-Council. As also confirmed by Caterina Lemp, World YWCA Programme Officer Membership Support and Focal Point Latin America, the meaning and sense of a movement reaches far beyond that of a simple institution. It is held together by capacity and management, but just as much by sisterhood and ‘the glue’ that we are more likely to feel than to comprehend. So the Pre-Council focused both on institutional management and ‘the glue’: inspiration, deeper understanding and sharing with each other in a collectively created and sustained safe space.
The afternoon session of the first day of the International Women’s Summit on the theme “Securing Sexual and Reproductive Rights for Women” began with an enriching speech by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of UNFPA. He was joined on the panel by Jan Beagle, Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS; Lisette Herrera, President, YWCA of Peru; Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, Director, Population Programme, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation; and Gill Greer, Director General, International Planned Parenthood Federation. The panel was moderated by Joanna Kerr, Executive Director of Action Aid International and Hendrica Okondo, World YWCA Global Programme Manager SRHR and HIV and Regional Focal Point for Africa.
On July 12, 2011, in Zurich, Switzerland, during the opening plenary of the 4th International Women’s Summit, four awardees (two individuals and two YWCA Associations) were honoured by having Mary Robinson bestow upon them the newly inaugurated “Mary Robinson Award for Young Women’s Leadership in Human Rights”.
Based in Switzerland and with coordinators in various countries, PeaceWomen Across the Globe is an international network of women who work persistently and courageously for peace, security and justice in many regions of the world – even when their life is in danger and their work is overshadowed by setbacks. In 2005, one thousand women from all over the world were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Previously, the creative, yet often dangerous peace work by women had neither been integrated into official peace processes nor acknowledged by the public. This unique campaign sought to make this work visible. The campaign led to the formation of a strong and global women’s peace network.
Interview with Jan Beagle, Deputy Executive Director for Management and External Relations at UNAIDS
Jan Beagle has been the Deputy Executive Director for Management and External Relations at UNAIDS since 2009 and holds more than 30 years experience in the political, development, management and interagency areas of the United Nations. Ms. Beagle is a former Deputy Director of the United Nations Office in Geneva, and has previously held senior positions in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Development Programme. Prior to joining the United Nations, she served in her country’s diplomatic service, including five years as a New Zealand delegate to the United Nations. Ms. Beagle has a Master’s degree with first class honours from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She joined the International Women’s Summit to participate in discussions on HIV and AIDS around the world and delivered a plenary address entitled, “Getting to Zero: Responding to the HIV Specific Needs of Women and Girls.”
Quelle leçon de courage et de détermination que de rencontrer cette jeune délégation reçue comme nouvelle association membre des YWCA mondiales lors de la première session de travail du World Council 2011. Dans un pays parmi les plus pauvres de la planète et secoué par l’un des séismes les plus dévastateurs, un réseau d’amies à amies a permis de constituer une équipe d’une dizaine de jeunes femmes dynamiques : les premiers contacts avec l’Alliance mondiale ont eu lieu en 2007. Suite au Conseil mondial de Nairobi et avec le soutien des outils de management et de gouvernance de la World YWCA, elles ont bâti les fondements de l’association haïtienne, en travaillant d’entrée en réseau avec d’autres instances, dont la Coalition haïtienne pour les femmes vivant avec le VIH, dont elles sont devenues membres fondatrices. Leur intégration dans le réseau a été d’autant plus facilitée qu’elles ont fait profiter les autres institutions des outils proposés par le mouvement mondial.
What an incredible week! Strong women from every corner of the globe flooded Zurich to discuss the topic, “Women Creating a Safe World.” Complete with dancing, cheering, yodeling, and learning, the World YWCA Council was a huge success, with over 850 women from 115 delegations coming together as one decision-making body.
The sounds of yodeling, an accordion, and an alphorn accompanied the lively chatter of the 1000 delegates that attended Swiss Night during the International Women’s Summit. Participants took a virtual train tour across Switzerland through Zurich, the Alps, Bern, and Geneva, which was accompanied by a three-course meal and discussion on Swiss culture. Delegates practiced the throaty sounds of the Swiss-German dialect and joined in with the yodeler as she switched quickly between chest voice and falsetto.
After a voting session which reached a 100 percent voter turnout rate, the new President and Treasurer of the YWCA World Board were announced. The crowd gave a standing ovation and vociferous cheer to Deborah Thomas who was elected as president and Carolyn Flowers who will serve as the next treasurer. Dancing and celebration ensued as the calypso YWCA song of Grenada played over the loudspeakers.
The International Women’s Summit came to a close in a spirit of continued cooperation and creating a better future for women and girls around the world. The closing plenary was moderated by Susan Brennan, President of the World YWCA, and Ruth Dreifuss, Switzerland’s first female president.
The afternoon plenary session of the International Women’s Summit was composed of an interesting blend of panellists: H.E. Thokozani Khupe, Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and President of UNAIDS Global Power Network for Africa on HIV; H.E. Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, Founder and President of the African Women’s Development Fund; Sandra Aziz from the YWCA of Egypt; Leora Hanser from Save the Children; and Elise Kant, Specialist Gender and Human Rights at ICCO and former GS of YWCA Netherlands.
Dr. Michelle Bachelet addressed an excited and captive audience on "Inequality, SRHR, HIV and Violence: The Nexus and Agenda for Women and Girls over the next Decade". She affirmed that the audience comprised some of the “world’s most ardent and articulate defenders of human rights for women and girls”,
Over 850 women from around 100 hundred countries have gathered in Zurich to attend the 4th International Women’s Summit convened by the World YWCA and hosted by the YWCA YMCA of Switzerland. Today, the YWCA stands committed to leading change, changing lives and communities. “For what good is leadership, if it does not demand change? And what good is change, if it does not bring sustained improvement to women and girls?” asked Susan Brennan, President of World YWCA in her welcome address.
The second day of the International Women’s Summit kicked off with a comprehensive panel on the topic, “Ending Violence Against Women and Securing Justice.” Panellists included: Ambar Aleman from YWCA Canada; Dr. Rima Salah of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF; Hariette Williams of Femmes Africa Solidarité; Visaka Dharmadasa, Chair of the Association of War Affected Women; Peter Prove, Executive Director of Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance; Roberta Clarke, Regional Director of UN Women Caribbean (via videoconference), and Icilda Humes of the YWCA of Belize.
The first ever Mary Robinson Awards for Young Women’s Leadership in Human Rights was launched on July 12, opening the 4th International Women’s Summit. Four awardees were selected among more than 70 nominations by an international review panel headed by Dr. Sigrun Mogedal. The award ceremony was opened by Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary of the World YWCA. Mary Robinson, Chair of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice and the first female President of Ireland (1990-1997), gave a keynote speech to present the awards and emphasise the critical work that the recipients are doing in human rights. Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro and Susan Brennan, President of the World YWCA, were also present to welcome the awardees as they received their prizes.
The World YWCA Council and International Women’s Summit will begin in just a few days! As you prepare yourself for the trip and as the excitement mounts, we would like to remind you to look out for the YWCA “Red Volunteers” as you arrive at Zurich airport. They will guide you and help you to arrive safely to your hotel.
In less than a week women from over 100 countries will meet in Zurich for the World YWCA Council and the International Women’s Summit. The YWCA YMCA of Switzerland and the World YWCA Office in Geneva have been working around the clockl to welcome the participants as the arrive to Zurich.
A brief moment with the World YWCA General Secretary on expected breakthroughs at IWS and World YWCA Council 2011
Since 1898, every four years, the World YWCA has held its World Council and since 1999 it has organised the International Women’s Summit (IWS). Each Council has led to steps forward and brought achievements towards women’s rights throughout the world. We asked Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, the General Secretary of the World YWCA, about her hopes for any particular breakthroughs at the 2011 World Council.
Mary Robinson is a renowned human rights activist and a trailblazer for women’s rights and leadership. She was the first woman President of Ireland (1990-1997) and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002). She has spent most of her life advocating for human rights, and most recently she has been set up the Mary Robinson Foundation on Climate Justice, which links human rights development and the undermining of development by climate change.
The World YWCA is particularly proud to announce that Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women for the United Nations (UN Women) and a long-time champion of women’s rights, who has advocated for gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout her career, will be one of the keynote speakers at the International Women’s Summit (IWS) to be held in Zurich, Switzerland in July 2011. Ms Bachelet will be speaking on “inequality, sexual and reproductive health rights, HIV and violence: the nexus and agenda for women and girls over the next decade” during the opening plenary.
This update provides information to registered participants on what to expect upon arrival to Zurich and other important information.
World YWCA Council and the International Women’s Summit (IWS) will be an opportunity to learn about the many issues facing women and girls today. Throughout the week participants will attend workshops and listen to inspiring speeches, but they will also be able to see powerful exhibitions that focus on violence against women, women leaders and UNSC Resolution 1325.
Women leaders around the world will gather for the 4th International Women’s Summit on Women Creating a Safe World to be held in Zurich, Switzerland on July 12-13, 2011. Convened by the World YWCA, the Summit will provide a platform to define key recommendations for the agenda on women’s rights, empowerment and security. With many global commitments including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Beijing Platform for Action and International Conference on Population and Development agenda nearing their end date, it is time for women of the world to define a new path forward that will deliver positive change in the lives of women and girls.
During the World YWCA Council and International Women's Summit, a networking and market space, KalYdoscope, will be organised at the Kongresshaus. The KalYdoscope is a place where participants will be able to come together and celebrate the fact that they belong to a worldwide movement.
World YWCA Council and the International Women’s Summit are packed with many exciting and meaningful programmes, workshops, speakers and activities. One of these activities is the opening worship and also the morning reflections which will be held during Pre-Councils, the IWS and the Business sessions.
This year at the World YWCA Council, a Young Women’s Leadership Dialogue will be held exclusively for young women in Zurich on July 11. A celebration evening will take place the night before for participants to network and enjoy the lively atmosphere of Zurich.
…. 6 months to go until we meet in Zurich for the World YWCA Council! While we continue with our preparations for this exciting event, we would like to share with you some information on the post council visits. You may wish to consider staying a few extra hours or days and discover Switzerland after World Council.
As we prepare for our World Council and International Women’s Summit in July 2011, the World YWCA spoke with Julia Diener, Swiss World Council Coordinator, to catch up and find out more about World Council and IWS preparations.
With the deadline for applications fast approaching (January 31, 2011), the World YWCA would like to share again information on the Mary Robinson Award for Young Women’s Leadership in Human Rights.
The World YWCA established the Mary Robinson Award for Young Women's Leadership in Human Rights to recognise young women leaders and human rights activists. The first recipients of the award will be honoured and celebrated during the World YWCA Council in Zurich, Switzerland from July 10 –16, 2011.
Would you like to share your experience and propose a session related to the goals of the International Women's Summit?
Swiss International Air Lines is proud to be the Official Carrier for the World YWCA Council in Zürich
The World YWCA is happy to announce that Swiss International Air Lines is the Official Carrier for the World Council and is offering special Congress Fares to all participants. These Congress Fares offer reductions of up to 25% depending on the fare type, route and space availability.
Once every four years, members of the YWCA movement from over 100 countries convene at their World Council - the supreme authority and decision-making body of the YWCA – to set policies and priorities, elect its governing board, honour women, develop leadership and build capacity. The Council also provides practical training and education on the priority issues of the global movement.
What better example for young women worldwide than that of a woman of the stature of Mary Robinson – the embodiment of leadership, commitment, achievement, vision, integrity, relentless hard work and loyalty.
With just a year to go, the countdown to World Council 2011 and the International Women's Summit (IWS) has begun. There is a buzz in the World YWCA office as well as in the offices of the host association, the YWCA-YMCA Switzerland, as the organising team frantically works at putting together the final touches to the event-filled programme, especially tailored to your needs and expectations!