Young Women's Christian Association
The Young Women's Christian Association co-operates closely with the Young Men's Christian Association in many Canadian communities but has retained its distinct identity. Two organizations providing religious fellowship and boardinghouse accommodation to young women were created in England in 1855, and amalgamated in 1877. The rapid growth of the YWCA as an international movement was linked to the increasing concentration in cities of large numbers of young unmarried women seeking employment, especially in factories. The first Canadian branch was organized in Saint John, NB, in 1870 by Agnes Blizzard and Adelaide Hoodless. Considered the founder of the movement, Hoodless was instrumental in organizing the national body in 1895. Sharing the Protestant evangelical orientation of the YMCA, early YWCA programs combined attempts to increase the employment and educational opportunities available to young women, with a concern for their physical and moral welfare.
The YWCA is a charitable, voluntary organization of member associations that provides programs and services which respond to community needs. The YWCA also works actively for the development and improved status of women and for responsible social and economic changes that will achieve peace, justice, freedom and equality in Canada and around the world. Some half-million Canadians annually make use of YWCA facilities in one way or another.
See also Canadian Girls In Training.