Meet Hawwa Niyaz

Hawwa Niyaz is one of two Young Women selected to attend the 2023 World Council as a New Zealand Delegate


December 11, 2023 Aotearoa New Zealand (National) YWCA Board

Where were you born?

I was born in the Maldives.


What helps keep you motivated?

Setting clear short and long-term academic and personal goals, creating schedules and staying organised, staying connected and building networks, taking breaks and celebrating achievements, exploring interests and finding purpose through my current endeavours and the pursuit of new things. 


What currently keeps you busy (work, study etc)?

I am a conjoint law, psychology and international relations student, which keeps me quite busy! I also do casual work, volunteer, advance my initiatives within the university framework and am an active member in my communities. 


What drew you to the YWCA?

A motto that I live by; Empowered Women Empower Women. My vision for young women in Aotearoa is one of unwavering empowerment, inclusivity, and boundless opportunity. I believe every young woman should have the chance to recognise their potential, harness their strengths, and find their voice in a society that should value their contributions and promote their growth. I am committed to fostering an environment where young women are encouraged to break barriers and lead at the forefront of innovation, challenging stereotypes. By providing platforms for them to engage, learn, and collaborate, we can pave the way for resilient, confident, and empowered young women who shape a brighter Aotearoa because their journey is honoured and they can access the resources, support, and mentorship needed to thrive.


As a young woman empowering other women, I was fascinated by the YWCA’s commitment for the well-being and safety of women, particularly, initiatives aimed at young, working-class women; their safety, fostering personal development through leadership opportunities and making a difference in their lives. The YWCA’s approaches to social issues, like sexual harassment and violence against women, resonated with my values, advocating for the safety and equality of women. In the past two years, I have actively engaged with the YWCA movement, receiving mentorship for a community project, through being on the Y25 for 2022. I also served as a judge for the Y25 Cohort of 2023. My lived experiences underscore my commitment to the YWCA movement and its mission, further solidifying my consideration of becoming a delegate for the 30th World Council on behalf of YWCA Aotearoa/New Zealand.


What are you looking forward to most at World Council?

As a voting delegate, part of the two-person New Zealand delegation, I look forward to engage in meaningful discussions and collaborations with representatives from around the world, harnessing the opportunity to contribute in shaping the direction of the YWCA globally, sharing insights from New Zealand’s perspective and learning from diverse experiences and perspectives of other delegates. I am excited about the potential for fostering international cooperation, advancing womens’ issues and collectively working towards positive change on a global scale, within the YWCA movement.

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