Inspiring Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters paves way to 2019 World Conference

Hosted by the Garden of Hope Foundation and the Asian Network of Women’s Shelters (ANWS), the Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters was held in Taipei from August 28-31, and attended by 180 people from 19 countries and over 60 shelter organizations in Asia and Europe.

Judy Wong, director of the MOFA Department of NGO International Affairs, addresses the Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters

For the participating shelter managers, staff, other activists and front-line workers, the event was an opportunity to connect with dedicated women leaders and social workers from around the world.

The opening ceremony on Monday August 28 introduced the theme of “Continental shifts in shelter management: Cross-regional dialogue on transforming women’s shelters”, with representatives from the continents of Asia and Europe placing heart-shaped lights on the shelter motif of the conference.

In her opening address, Chi Hui-Jung, CEO of the Garden of Hope and Chairperson of ANWS, said it was time for the government to release more social housing to give survivors of violence more options during the post-crisis period.

Bandana Rana, Chairperson of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters and CEDAW Committee Member, talked about how the shelter network had increased the vaisibility of the shelter movement.

Bandana Rana, GNWS chairperson & CEDAW committee member

In her keynote speech, Bandana made several concrete suggestions for the Asian Network, including using CEDAW and other human rights instruments to push to increase support for shelters, collecting data on shelter services in Asia, advocating for effective domestic violence laws, setting standards for shelter management, and initiating a dialogue with other regional forums.

Held in the context of a discussion on shelter transformation in Taiwan and other countries in Asia, speakers at the conference shared innovative models of shelter management and combating domestic violence.

Over the first two days, delegates heard from experts and practitioners in a series of panels on legal frameworks and policy strategies, network support for shelter services, economic empowerment programs for survivors, and new models for shelter management.

Claire Loeber, social worker, Oranje Huis

On Tuesday morning, social worker Claire Loeber from Blijf Groep in the Netherlands explained in detail how the innovative Orange House model works, from case management, assessment and selection of “red”, “orange” or “green” houses, and how to work with both survivors and perpetrators.

Among other highlights was a presentation on the Istanbul Convention by GREVIO vice president Rosa Logar, who explained how the law helped combat male-oriented or gender-neutral laws that do not account for the realities of women. Mr. Cheng Chien-Chih, Housing Development Section Chief at New Taipei City, impressed the audience with his presentation of a plan to put a social housing project for survivors of domestic violence above a police station. And Aisa Kiyosue and Chisato Kitanaka analyzed the shortcomings of the Japanese government’s laws and policies to protect victims of domestic violence.

The final section of the conference was devoted to an open space for participants to brainstorm ideas, exchange good practices, and learn and share with each other. Suggestions and new topics from the space, including how to involve governments in the network and how to add more practical “software” content, will be developed in future conferences.

Vice President Chen Chien-Jen and ACWS delegates

On Wednesday, international delegates paid a courtesy call to the Office of the President to lobby vice president Chen Chien-Jen to support the Garden of Hope’s bid to host the 2019 World Conference in Taiwan. Chen gave his full support to the plan, adding that the Taiwanese government supported the goals of the Istanbul Convention and was pleased to work with ANWS for the sake of vulnerable women and girl survivors of violence.

In the afternoon, the international delegates visited the Taipei City Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center and a Garden of Hope shelter in New Taipei City.

Finally on Thursday, the official conference program wound down with a city tour of the National Palace Museum and the AMA Museum for Taiwanese “comfort women”.

Participants commented that the conference was “a wonderful learning experience” and “an inspiring conference” and added that they were looking forward to the World Conference in Taiwan in 2019.

The Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters was sponsored by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Links:

Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters starts in Taipei

(Monday, August 28, 2017) Attended by 180 people from 18 countries and over 60 shelter organizations in Asia and Europe, the Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters started in Taipei today. You can follow the proceeding on our live web-stream.

(L-R) Uma Shah, Sujana Ximenes, Reijke Kok, Bandana Rana, Ruby Wong, Najla Areeb, Chi Hui-Jung, Chang Hsiu-Yuan, Oyunbileg Baasanjav

The conference started with welcome speeches from Chi Hui-Jung, CEO of the Garden of Hope and Chairperson of ANWS, Bandana Rana, Chairperson of GNWS and CEDAW committee member, and Taiwanese government representatives.

Chi said it was time for the government to release more social housing to give survivors of violence more options during the post-crisis period. Bandana noted how GNWS, ANWS and other shelter networks had helped raise the visibility of shelters around the world. She also called for more data collection on shelter resources to effectively lobby governments.

The conference continues through August 28-29, with panel discussions on economic empowerment, networking, legal structures, and alternative forms of shelter services.

Links:

Countdown to the Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters 2017 – Taipei Aug 28-30

The Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters 2017 will be held in the Taipei on August 28-30 on the theme of “Continental shifts in shelter management: Cross-regional dialogue on transforming women’s shelters”.

The event will bring together shelter heads, domestic violence professionals and community partners from over a dozen Asian countries and many more organizations.

Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters 2017

Held in the context of a discussion on shelter transformation in Taiwan and other countries in Asia, experts from Europe and North America will be invited to share innovative models of shelter management and combating domestic violence – including the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention and the Oranje Huis (Orange House) model from the Netherlands.

These ideas will be developed in panel discussions between Asian and European participants, with interaction and questions from the audience, to bring out new ideas and solutions to improve the services for survivors of violence across Asia.

The afternoon of day two, and day three will be devoted to study tours of local shelter organizations, government domestic violence prevention centers, and other organizations. An option tour of scenic spots in northern Taiwan will be offered to international participants on August 31.

Check the exciting Agenda here, and if you are coming to Taipei, study our Logistics page for information about how to get here, what to wear, and what to bring.

Jobs, housing and networking top of the agenda at the Third Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters

Forty leaders of the shelter and gender equality movement in Asia met in the Hague, the Netherlands on November 2-3, 2015, to discuss the status of women’s empowerment in the region.

On the eve of the Third World Conference of Women’s Shelters on November 2, Asian delegates gathered at the Centrum Quadraat meeting room in the historic center of the Hague to discuss developments in shelter work in the region, progress toward building the economic capacity of survivors to find jobs and housing after they leave the shelters, and strategies to help migrant women and other marginalized groups be free of the fear of violence.

Some key issues which emerged in the meeting were:

  1. Economic empowerment: Well-funded employment, housing and community programs to help women after they leave the shelter to become independent.
  2. Housing and land: Give women equal property rights, rights to inheritance, affordable housing for survivors of domestic violence, and guarantee the property rights of widows.
  3. Sufficient funding for shelters.
  4. Create an environment where victims are able to report violations, seek justice, and speak out about abuse without fear of a lifetime of isolation so they are able to fully reintegrate into society.
  5. Law reform and implementation: Update outdated laws, properly implement progressive laws, and improve coordination across borders to protect vulnerable women and girls and bring justice to survivors of GBV.
  6. The government should address the lack of accountability systems within the public institutions.
  7. NGOs should collect data and case study stories to improve our services and make us more accountable, and to help make us more effective advocates for the human rights of women and girls.
  8. Full and equal protection of migrant women, especially domestic workers and marriage migrants.
  9. For disaster situations: Prepare for future disaster situations by making women part of the disaster relief process, and making the processes more accessible to women.
  10. The government should coordination between police, judiciary, hospitals other public institutions as well as civil society service providers to avoid need to re-apply, re-testify and re-live the trauma of abuse.
  11. The government should produce clear and published guidelines and protocols for public institutions to follow in cases of gender based violence.
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Chi Hui-Jung

The chairperson of the Asian Network of Women’s Shelters, which organized the event, Chi Hui-Jung said Asia, as was the world’s most diverse region, could show the world how a strong network of different peoples can come together to help women and girls be free of violence and abuse.

Bandana Rana, chairperson of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters, said The Asian Network of Women’s Shelters grew out of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters. “It is one thing to have a strong network,” said Bandana, “but the important thing is what to do. It is still heartbreaking to see so many women and girls suffering from violence, abuse and even rape.”

Ivy Josiah, Former Executive Director, WAO Malaysia talked about ethnic tensions in Malaysia and problems with husbands converting to Islam and taking domestic violence cases to the Sharia court. Ivy also stressed how important it was for NGOs to collect data for advocacy and fundraising, and also to improve accountability: “We need documented and data-evidence proof work to convince people,” Ivy said.

Rabeea Hadi, Director of Advocacy and EVAW at Pakistan’s Aurat Foundation, said, “Economic empowerment is very important, especially for women who leave the shelter after 3-4 months and are left in no-man’s land.”

Mashuda Shefali

Mashuda Shefali

Chisato Kitanaka, Executive Director of the All Japan Women’s Shelter Network, presented the results of a comparative survey on Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia. She said Taiwan had the most complete shelter system, and was particularly impressed that social workers were employed in shelters in Taiwan, which is not possible in Japan.

Housing and land rights was another important issue. “Safe living means a house, tenureship and property rights of women,” said Mashuda Shefali, Executive Director NUK Bangladesh.

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Monique Wilson

Monique Wilson, Director of the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign said aside from the main theme of “Revolution”, the focus of the movement next year will be on marginalized women. Monique added, “Grassroots organizations have led OBR so far, so we need to give a platform to the people who are least visible in society.”

Lorraine Lim, Administrator and Counsellor the Star Shelter SCWO in Singapore said, “Many migrants do not know that domestic violence is a crime, let alone where to go to report it.” Her organization, the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) recommends residency rights could be sponsored by a relative or friend and not just the spouse of a migrant.

The ANWS board met during lunchtime and reported back to the conference in the afternoon, urging participants to sign up as members of ANWS on the website. On November 3, participants went on a study visit of the Hague city government and a local shelter for young pregnant women and mothers.

The conference was sponsored by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and organized in partnership with the Garden of Hope Foundation, the Asia Network of Women’s Shelters, the Global Network of Women’s Shelters, and the Third World Conference of Women’s Shelters.

2015 Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters Program

The Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters on November 2, 2015 is specially designed for Asian participants. The event will prepare delegates for 3WCWS and help build partnerships across Asia and provide a platform to build new alliances between shelter practitioners, NGO leaders, politicians and the business community. See here for more information about the speakers. The pre-conference is organized by the Asian Network of Women’s Shelters (ANWS) and the Garden of Hope Foundation with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan, and the Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS).

Date: November 2, 2015 (Mon)
Time: 09:00-18:30
Venue: Centrum Quadraat, the Hague, the Netherlands

Time Agenda Speakers
08:30-09:00 Registration
09:00-09:05 Opening Ceremony and Introduction to guests
09:05-09:15 Opening Remarks Chi Hui-jung, Chairperson, ANWS;
Bandana Rana, Chairperson, GNWS;
H.E. Tom Tai-Chu Chou, Representative, Taipei Representative Office, Hague
09:15-09:20 Opening Ceremony and Introduction to guests  (Group photo)
09:20-09:30 Break
09:30-11:30 Workshop: Reflecting On and Honoring Shelter Work. Workshop leader: Kaili Lee, Research specialist, GOH
11:30-13:30 Lunch  (ANWS board meeting for members of the ANWS executive committee)
13:30-15:00 Theme 1: Empowering Women – Economic, Social and Human Rights Based Moderator: Chi Hui-jung, Chairperson, ANWS;
– Bandana Rana, Chairperson, GNWS;
– Mashuda Katun Shefali, Executive Director NUK Bangladesh “Economic empowerment and safe living environments for Bangladeshi women”
– Rabeea Hadi, Director of Advocacy and EVAW, Aurat Foundation, Pakistan “Minimizing VAW through seamless service of hubs and networks – a case study of Pakistan”
– Dr. Chisato Kitanaka, Executive Director, All Japan Women’s Shelter Network “Comparison of DV law between Taiwan and Japan”
15:00-15:30 Break
15:30-17:30 Theme 2: Focus on Marginalized Groups – Migrants and Migrant Workers Moderator: Monique Wilson, Director, OBR
– Ivy Josiah, Former Executive Director, WAO Malaysia “Shelter services in a cross cultural, multi ethnic and multi religious society”
– Lorraine Lim, Administrator and Counsellor, Star Shelter, SCWO, Singapore “Services for women in different culture and races in Singapore”
– Hsing-Ling Hsieh, Deputy Secretary-General, Legal Aid Foundation, Taiwan
17:30-17:50 Close

Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters pre-event to 3WCWS

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Centrum Quadraat conference room

Plan to arrive early for the Third World Conference of Women’s Shelters (3WCWS) so you can attend the Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters on November 2, 2015 at in the Hague.

Specially designed for Asian participants, this event will prepare delegates for 3WCWS and help build partnerships across Asia. The themes of the conference will focus on specific Asian issues, with the goal of forming strategies to end the endemic problem of violence against women and children. The event will provide a platform to build new alliances between shelter practitioners, NGO leaders, politicians and the business community.

The event will include a practical workshop on “Reflecting on and Honoring Shelter Work” and high-level discussions on “Empowering Women: Economy, Society and Human Rights” and “Focus on Marginalized Groups: Migrants and Migrant Women”.

The pre-conference is organized by the Asian Network of Women’s Shelters and the Garden of Hope Foundation with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan, and GNWS.

Dates: November 2, 2015 (Mon)
Time: 09:00-18:30
Venue: Centrum Quadraat, the Hague, the Netherlands
Address: Toussaintkade 53, 2513 CL Den Haag
Presenters: 10 Asian women’s shelter leaders and managers
Participants: 20 people (not including presenters)
Organizer: Asian Network of Women’s Shelters; The Garden of Hope Foundation
Sponsors: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Taiwan ROC; Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS)

Themes of the Conference
Workshop: Reflecting on and Honoring Shelter Work
Theme I: Empowering Women: Economy, Society and Human Rights
Theme II: Focus on Marginalized Groups: Migrants and Migrant workers

Please register your interest to attend here. The conference is free of charge, but there are a limited number of places available, so we cannot guarantee that everyone who registers will be able to attend.

Draft Agenda

Day One: November 2 (Monday) Conference at Centrum Quadraat

09:00-09:30 Registration
09:30-10:00 Opening Introductions
10:00-12:00 Workshop: Reflecting on and Honoring Shelter Work
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-15:00 Theme II: Empowering Women: Economy, Society and Human Rights
15:00-15:30 Break
15:30-17:30 Theme III: Focus on Marginalized Women
17:30-17:50 Close
18:00-19:30 ANWS Board Meeting
19:30-21:30 Dinner