Guiding Values

These are the key values and principles that guide the work of YWCAs around the world towards our common vision and purpose.

  • Placing women, young women and girls' empowerment at the centre of our work
  • Honouring our Christian foundation and being inclusive of women of all faiths and backgrounds
  • Respecting diversity and upholding the human rights principles of participation, non-discrimination and accountability
  • Modelling intergenerational and shared leadership
  • Promoting volunteerism and effective, mutually respectful partnerships
  • Operating with integrity and ensuring good governance and accountability at all levels
  • Valuing the history and ongoing work of the YWCA movement in its diversity of contexts and regions
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The vision of the World YWCA is a fully inclusive world where justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained by women's leadership.

Deborah Thomas-Austin, World YWCA President

Dr. Deborah Thomas-Austin

World YWCA President

Deborah Thomas-Austin joined the YWCA in 1985 as a member of the Board of the Port of Spain Association in Trinidad and Tobago. She served as chairman of the Programme Committee, including responsibility for the Y-Teens. In 1986, Deborah was selected to participate in a YWCA Leadership Training programme in Phoenix Arizona. She also served as First Vice Chairman of the Port of Spain Association.

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What Are Human Rights?

Human rights are the rights to which each person is entitled simply because she or he is a human being.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of sisterhood /brotherhood.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person. No one should be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.