Dunedin is part of YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand

The YWCA has been part of every major change for women since the Dunedin YWCA was established in 1878 as the first YWCA of the Southern Hemisphere. Countless women leaders over the last century owe their leadership training to the YWCA of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Today the Young Women’s Christian Association of Aotearoa – New Zealand (YWCA of Aotearoa – New Zealand) is one of the broad-based women’s organisations in New Zealand. The YWCA is an international movement with more than 25 million members from over 100 countries. It is sustained by a diversity of beliefs, faiths and values and works towards social, political, economic and emotional well being of women.

We have a particular commitment to women’s holistic growth and leadership and strong dedication to peace, freedom, justice and dignity for all people. The World YWCA and the YWCA of Aotearoa-New Zealand are involved in advocacy in international and national issues affecting young women, women and young people.

The YWCA is a leading voice for women in New Zealand providing advocacy as well as successful programmes that improve the lives of women. While we have embraced new ways of working and are tackling contemporary social issues, we continue to focus on empowering women and girls to lead social change. Each year we witness the positive impact of our focus on women’s leadership. Women are leading long term sustainable change in their local communities, and developing effective responses to issues such as unemployment, disenfranchisement, mental health problems, and dis-connectedness.

This is what the YWCA is about. We help women and girls develop into leaders who work for change in their communities, often in difficult and challenging conditions.

Our development philosophy emphasises women centered, sustainable and participatory processes, and works to achieve justice, peace, health human dignity, freedom and care for the environment.


Our Vision

Our vision is of a fully inclusive world where divisions based on gender, age, race, ethnicity, culture and religion no longer exist and in which justice, peace health, human dignity and care for the environment are promoted and sustained

The YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to six core values for which we are accountable to young women, volunteers and the nine local associations their community and our key stake holders. These are the things we value and which guide our objectives and actions.

  • Integrity and accountability
  • Women’s empowerment
  • Community
  • Relevance
  • Wairua ( Spirituality)
  • Fun

YWCA of Dunedin New Zealand

03 479 0600