Welcome to the Twenty-Ninth YWCA World Council
Once every four years member associations of the World YWCA gather together for the World Council meeting. The World Council is the highest decision and policy-making body of the global movement of the YWCA. This year, the 29th World Council will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 17 to 22 November 2019. It is expected that between 300 and 500 delegates and observers from different countries across the world will take part in this most important meeting in the life of the YWCA movement!
The YWCA World Council, apart from being a governance meeting, is also other things. It provides an opportunity for collective discernment of the global situation and how the YWCA can creatively and more effectively address global challenges. It offers a space for mutual learning and the sharing of stories. It is a space to build community, nurture friendships and develop new leaders. Adding all this together, the World Council has the power to regenerate the worldwide movement of the YWCA, strengthen its impact at community, national and global levels and transform lives.
This virtual site will accompany the journey to World Council and serve a number of purposes:
- Provide an overview of the World Council process – before, during and after World Council;
- Facilitate the registration of delegates;
- Serve as a repository of information, programmatic and logistical;
- Enable access to World Council documents and resources;
- Invite sponsorships and donations for World Council, and
- Give the latest news on the preparations and a preview of what awaits those travelling to South Africa for the 29th YWCA World Council.
Welcome to the 29th YWCA World Council!
The Twenty-Ninth World Council will be held at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Center, from 17 to 22 November 2019 (arrivals on 16 November and first departures late afternoon on 22 November). Between 300 and 500 delegates, observers, guests and other participants are expected to attend, with the YWCA of South Africa and the World YWCA jointly hosting this major gathering in the life of the global YWCA movement.
- Fulfill all the tasks required of World Council as provided in the Constitution. These are:
- To accept the minutes of the previous World Council meeting
- To accept the report of the World Board on its activities and the management of funds since the previous World Council meeting
- To accept the report of the General Secretary
- To approve the report of the Treasurer on the budget framework and affiliation fees until the next World Council meeting
- To approve the rules of procedure for the World Council meeting
- To approve policies, guidelines and resolutions until the next World Council meeting
- To conduct elections for the World Board members including Officers, and the Nominations Committee
- To provide opportunities for mutual learning and exchange between member associations
- To deal with other business.
- Undertake a collective reflection on the theme of the 29th World Council, in relation to the internal and external challenges that confront the YWCA and young women in particular.
- Ensure the full integration of young women in the programme and process of the 29th World Council.
- Celebrate faith through prayer, song and liturgies that strengthen community and solidarity among World Council delegates and participants.
- Engage World Council delegates and participants in a discussion on the state of the YWCA movement and its purpose.
- Facilitate the sharing of knowledge and skills between member associations through workshops.
- Learn about South Africa, its history, culture as well as the challenges its women face through inputs, face to face interactions and creative presentations.
The theme chosen for the 29th World Council is “Young Women Transforming Power Structures for Gender Equality.” This theme is rooted in Goal 2035 which was adopted by the delegates at the 2015 World Council in Bangkok. This goal states that:
“By 2035, 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.”
Unlike previous World Council meetings, the 29th World Council will not start with a Young Women’s Forum. The hope is that young women’s voices and leadership will be built into the core framework of the World Council programme. In order to ensure that young women delegates can participate actively in business sessions, a training and orientation session for youth delegates, the Council’s Rules of Procedure will be organized on the first day of World Council.
The programme of the 29th World Council will have five main components:
- Governance and business sessions
- Thematic plenary sessions
- Thematic and skill building workshops
- Worship and morning prayer
- Zenzele marketplace
- Opening and closing ceremonies
Business sessions of the World Council will be guided by the Council’s Ways of Work and Rules of Procedure which is updated and approved on the first business session of the Council.
The thematic and skill building sessions will make use of participatory and creative methodologies and will be held in plenary and small groups. Skill building sessions will mainly be in the form of workshops offered by member associations.
Worship will take place every morning and will be organized around different themes. It will be participatory, creative and reflect the diversity of the worldwide movement in terms of songs, languages, prayers and symbols.
The Zenzele marketplace will be a multi-purpose space where local artisans and YWCAs can showcase their work and products for offering and selling to the delegates and participants, a safe-space for youth delegates to meet and share stories, an open space for engaging with members of the local YWCA, for networking with other participants and hanging out for a relaxing conversation and coffee.
The opening and closing ceremonies will be jointly organized by the South Africa YWCA and the World YWCA. The opening ceremony will be a formal event where delegates are expected to dress in their national costume.