What does the ‘C’ stand for in YWCA?

Is YWCA a ‘Christian’ organisation? If not, why keep ‘C’ in the title? 

We’re often asked what does YWCA stand for?

YWCA in Australia was established over 140 years ago. ‘YWCA’ initially stood for ‘Young Women’s Christian Organisation’. Although we have a history and foundation in the Christian faith, we have grown into a secular organisation to maximise our impact.  We are now known simply as YWCA Australia.

We live by our strong and evolving intersectional feminist values – we are committed in our allyship for social justice. Through our committed allyship for social justice and diverse programs, we support people across the country – regardless of their age, religion, gender or sexual orientation.  

Our advocacy builds upon the legacy of bold Y people before us, championing gender equality and amplifying the voices and experiences of young women and gender diverse people.  

Evolution is a huge part of our DNA here at the Y! We will continue to grow and evolve like we have before, as we work towards our purpose of making young women’s leadership and women’s housing our priority for gender equity in Australia.  

Our name, YWCA Australia, is part of our heritage and long legacy and is instantly recognisable both locally and internationally as a movement that champions young women. 

We work alongside our global Y sisters and seek to influence and support the World YWCA and its members from an intersectional feminist perspective on gender equality and young women’s leadership, including working with Christian and other faith-based organisations. 

Our focus remains clear – we are working towards a future where gender equality is a reality, and we are proud to do this together as YWCA Australia.