The Young Women's Christian Association ( YWCA; German: Young Women's Christian Association ) is a global movement. The World YWCA ( World Alliance of Young Women's Christian Association ) is composed of 122 affiliated national associations and has its headquarters in Geneva. Around 25 million women and girls around the world take part in YWCA activities. Thus, the World YWCA is the largest ecumenical women's organization in the world.


The YWCA in 1855 in the UK under the influence of the industrial revolution and inspired by the Young Men's Christian Association ( YMCA ). In the fast-growing London he committed himself to safe homes, education opportunities, contact networks and opportunities for Bible study for women. The YWCA spread rapidly to other cities and countries, so that in 1894 the World YWCA was founded. The YWCA played a pioneering role in the work to strengthen the position of women and in raising awareness for women's issues.


In over 22,000 local groups around the world, women are committed to improving their world. The YWCA wants to achieve the cultural, economic, political, religious and social justice for women and girls and women as leaders and decision-makers promote (empowerment ). The current priorities of the Alliance are:

  • Health promotion for women and HIV / AIDS
  • Human rights of women and children
  • World peace through justice
  • Sustainable Development

The local YWCA groups have different orientations:

  • In the UK, called the organization since late 2010 Platform 51, ​​as Christianity in the organization is no longer important.
  • The YWCA in the United States, as a member of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence one for a tougher gun control.
  • In Switzerland, the YWCA as a Christian Association Young Women ( YWCA ) was common until it is merged with the YMCA to YMCA Switzerland.