What is YWCA Netherlands?

YWCA Netherlands is a non-profit organization, based solely on volunteers. We are an active member of the World Wide YWCA. We have a mission of being “committed to a fairer world for women and young girls”. Within our mission, we define our work with four pillars: “women and development”, “women and rights”, “women and the world” and “women and connection.

We have the objectives to encourage awareness, connect women culturally and economically, inspire women, and create safe spaces. We also have a goal to promote female leadership and provide resources for women to develop and share knowledge for future use.

What do we do?

YWCA Netherlands organizes activities for members and non-members. These activities can be a range of things, such as meet-ups or workshops.

Examples of what we do, as seen in our four pillars:

  • We aim to develop women’s leadership so they can independently solve issues in their own lives and communities. We approach this through events such as workshops, leadership development training, and meet-ups.
  • We collaborate with Dutch networks that focus on lobbying for women’s rights, such as the Breed People Consultation and Dutch Women’s Council. We also take part in and initiate projects surrounding human rights such as Orange the World.
  • We have a goal to understand the position of women by facilitating at least four different organizations or projects per year. We also have a goal for YWCA members each year to visit other YWCA organizations abroad and attend international gatherings. In the past, these trips have included visits to the World Wide YWCA in Geneva, organizing a workshop at the World Council in Johannesburg, and organizing a workshop at the World Council in Bangkok.
  • We focus on building networks through events such as networking drinks or the Golden Girl Award. We have hosted events such as intergenerational dinners, movie nights, or self-love workshops.
  • The Golden Girl Award is given yearly to a special young lady or woman who has committed herself to others. The focus is on a peaceful, fair and just society. It is given in the three categories of internal (within the YWCA), external, and to a young talent. Anybody can nominate a woman for one of these categories, beginning each year in April, by contacting info@ywca.nl with a motivation, information, and contacts.

Brief History of YWCA Netherlands

YWCA Netherlands was founded in Utrecht in 1919, and our current building is located in Utrecht. We began with origins built-in Christian values and standards, but are now inclusive and encouraging of all backgrounds, identities, cultures, ages, educational levels and religions. We joined with the World Wide YWCA in 1921.

World YWCA

The World Wide YWCA is an international organization and network that wants to improve the position of women and girls worldwide through social and economic change. They aim for a fair, peaceful and gender-equal world. They are present in 120 countries and represent 25 million women.

For more information on World Wide YWCA: www.worldywca.org


“Do not wait for someone else to come and speak for you. It’s you who can change the world.” -Malala Yousafzai