News note

UNICEF, World YWCA join forces

New alliance aims to develop collective power of women and girls

World YWCA General Secretary Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro and UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman shake hands after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
New York, 12 October 2006 – UNICEF and World YWCA announced today the establishment of a new partnership to promote gender equality, youth leadership and the meaningful involvement of young women and girls in creating a more gender sensitive society.  The organizations hailed the new alliance as an important milestone that would achieve measurable progress through a shared vision and plan of action.

UNICEF and World YWCA will make special efforts to address the needs of children and young women in marginalized and excluded communities with a focus on:

• Promoting basic education and gender equality;
• Combating HIV and AIDS;
• Promoting gender equality and counteracting violence against women and girls.

The partnership was announced at an official ceremony at UNICEF House where the heads of UNICEF and World YWCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement aims to strengthen collaboration at global and country levels to support achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.


About World YWCA:  World YWCA brings together 25 million members, women and girls, in over 122 countries through 100 affiliated, autonomous national YWCAs. It was founded in 1894, when YWCA work began in Britain where Christian women responded to the housing, recreation, and spiritual needs of young girls who had migrated to the cities during the Industrial Revolution.

World YWCA’s mission is to develop the leadership and collective power of women and girls around the world, to achieve a fully inclusive world where justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained through women's leadership. The organisation’s strategic actions comprise leadership training, advocacy for social and economic justice, people-centered development and strengthening the world YWCA movement. (www.worldywca.org)

About UNICEF: For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. (www.unicef.org)

For further information, please contact:
UNICEF: Andres Guerrero, (+41) 22.909.5773, aguerrero@unicef.org