2022 Assembly


Report from the World Conference of Women’s Shelters in the Netherlands


At the request of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS), the Foundation of Women’s Shelters in the Netherlands and its partners organised from 3-6 November 2015 in Conference Center World Forum in The Hague, the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters.
I was privileged to attend such an event where women and men, all around the world came to share their experiences and ideas with the ultimate objective of achieving an international approach to the prevention of violence against women and children. In total around a thousand people from over a hundred countries took part in the conference in The Hague.
The event was even more interesting and attractive by the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima. On the morning of November 4, 2015, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands held a keynote speech under the theme, Economic Independence of Women Survivors focused on the economic independence for women who face domestic violence which is the basis for building a new and independent life.
After the plenary session, Queen Máxima attended part of the ‘Effective social and economic reintegration of women survivors’ workshop.
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark also attended the conference on Thursday, the 5th of November. The crown princess gave a keynote speech during the plenary session entitled, Continents: What is Going On? Strengthening Global and Regional Networks.  Through The Mary Foundation she works to help women and children who are victims of violence.

3rd World Conference of Women's Shelters, Hague, November 2015
3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters, Hague, November 2015

Read more here: Connect & Act_report from the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters, November 2015

Sr. Adina Balan, CJ

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 social workers and NGOs are amongst the participants from more than 95 countries currently attending the World Forum Conference. RENATE member Adina Balan, CJ will present on the RENATE Network 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. The aim is 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 advocacy
  • 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, and most importantly, the voices of survivors who share their stories.
Global Companies such as Facebook, Google, Rabobank are playing an active role in the Conference. Present as keynote speakers and panellists are:  the Head of Global Safety at Facebook, Google representative on Public Policy Strategy and the Director of Human Resources at Rabobank.
Ashley Judd, actress, activist and author, will share her personal studies and discuss how they reflect the themes of the conference on the closing day. Judd has been engaging in global feminist social justice work 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:
Full Conference information is available at
Adapted and prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person