Our history

Our history

For 100 years, the Young Women’s Movement has been working across Scotland to protect and advance young women’s rights.

As an organisation we can trace our history back to April 1924 when the Scottish Council seceded from the YWCA of Great Britain and formed YWCA Scotland. Although we go by a different name today, we’re proud of everything we’ve achieved over the last 100 years.

Originally a membership association, YWCA Scotland had a number of local affiliate centres across Scotland. YWCA Glasgow was the last membership centre that merged with YWCA Scotland in 2015. We no longer operate as a membership organisation but we do still pride ourselves on being local in action and national in impact.

YWCA Scotland had worked with women of all and no faiths for many years – Scotland’s first interfaith group can be traced back to the 1970s and YWCA member, Stella Reekie who welcomed and supported new Scots to her international flat in Glasgow.

In 2014 it was identified that the ‘C’ of YWCA was seen as a barrier to the inclusive approach of the organisation. We rebranded as a non-religious organisation and updated our visual identity to The Young Women’s Movement in 2015, although we were still known as YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement.

In 2023, after a period of intense strategic reflection with young women and girls, it became clearer that the name YWCA Scotland didn’t ‘fit’ with our inclusive ethos or vision for the future. We dropped the YWCA Scotland part of our name and became the The Young Women’s Movement with an updated visual identity. We are still connected to the global ‘Y’ movement through our affiliation with the European YWCA.

In 2024 we are celebrating our 100 year birthday and will be delving into our rich history to better understand and celebrate our story. If you have been part of our 100 year history, are in possession of YWCA archives, photos or memorabilia and would like to share your story with us please get in touch

To mark our birthday, we’ve got a brand new Young Women’s Movement tartan that has been created for us by The House of Edgar.

Young Women Move

Nadine Aisha Jassat wrote a powerful ‘Young Women Move’ poem for our 100 year birthday celebrations, demonstrating the rich history and movement of our organisation. We will add it after its inaugural performance.