The 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters, 3rd-6th November, 2015 – Conference Centre World Forum, The Hague, the Netherlands.

Advocates for women’s shelters, health care workers, women working as social workers and other NGO’s are amongst the participants from more than 95 countries around the world currently attending the conference, including RENATE members Adina Balan, SJ and Ivonne van de Kar, who will co-present a presentation on RENATE at the Conference. The Conference is an initiative arising from the Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS), the Dutch Foundation of Women’s Shelters and its partners, with a view to connecting and acting together in order to end violence against women.

The following themes are being addressed each day:

  • – The economic independence of women survivors.
  • – Sustainable financing and
  • – Transboundary Violence against women: International exchange and cooperation.
  • – Continents: What is going on? Strengthening Global and regional networks.
  • – Innovative approaches to eliminating violence against women and supporting survivors.
  • – ‘’Time to Act!’’

The week has been action packed so far, with pre-conferences by the Asian network and WAVE (European Network), side-workshops, plenary sessions, roundtables, creative performances, poster sessions as well as lounge greetings which assist the sharing of information and networking. Her Majesty, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark presented keynote addresses, followed by key speakers from both national and international governmental departments. Throughout the week, delegates hear presentations from the UN, WHO, UAF and the Council of Europe, amplified by the voices of survivors who share their stories.

Global Companies such as Facebook, Google, Rabo bank are playing an active role in the Conference, with the Head of Global Safety at Facebook, Google representative on Public Policy Strategy and the Director of Human Resources at Rabobank present as keynote speakers and panellists. Ashley Judd, who will speak at the closing day of the Conference, will share her personal studies and discuss how they reflect the themes of the conference. Judd has been engaging in global feminist social justice work in earnest since 2002, and has visited slums, brothels and schools in Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo, Thailand, Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kenya, Nicaragua, Rwanda and South Africa to meet with survivors.

“Violence against girls and women has grave consequences for the survivor. There is also a cascade effect into her neighbourhood, her town, and her country,”

Judd says. “If we can provide safe places to care for and support survivors of gender-based violence, we offer them a crucial portal to dignity, while creating healthier outcomes for entire populations.”

You can follow the Conference on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GlobalNetworkWS

Full Conference information is available at: www.worldshelterconference.org