Asian Network of Women’s Shelters Internship Program

GOH shelter in KaohsiungThe Asian Network of Women’s Shelters (ANWSInternship Program is a unique two-week project that offers talented professionals, who are working for crisis shelters or other organizations offering services to survivors of gender-based violence in Asia, the opportunity to gain a hands-on experience of shelter management in Taiwan. The program runs in November 2019 to give interns the opportunity to take part in the Fourth World Conference of Women’s Shelters (4WCWS).

Application Deadline: August 31, 2019

Program Dates*: Two weeks in November 2019 (exact dates to be decided by the interns and hosting shelters).

Suggested Itinerary*:

  • Nov 4: Arrive in Taiwan / Briefing
  • Nov 5-8: Participate in 4WCWS
  • Nov 9-10: Rest
  • Nov 11-15: Internship at shelter
  • Nov 16: Return home

Applicant Criteria:

  • Gender: Female
  • Experienced social workers, counselors, supervisors and other staff at NGOs providing protection services for women and girls in Asia.
  • Outstanding applicants from other fields will also be will also be considered
  • Recommendation from an ANWS member organization
  • Proficiency in spoken English (some understanding of Chinese would be a plus)
  • Commitment to apply, develop and implement learnings in home country after the conclusion of the internship
  • Demonstrated professional excellence
  • Independent and self-directed

The ANWS secretariat, the Garden of Hope Foundation (GOH), will help interns obtain visas and make other travel and lodging arrangements.

Costs Covered by GOH:

  1. round-trip economy class airfare,
  2. all accommodation in Taiwan (shared, twin-room, mid-range hotel),
  3. registration fees for 4WCWS,
  4. visa fees (if necessary),
  5. some meals.

Interns will be expected to pay for meals while not working at the shelter or attending 4WCWS events. Commuting and airport shuttle travel is also not covered by the program. GOH will not pay the interns wages, overtime, compensation, insurance or other benefits.

Expectations and Goals 

The purpose of the program is for interns to learn through work. Interns will not be expected to take on major responsibilities, and will receive supervision and support from the host shelter, including assistance from an English-speaking member of staff who will help translate for the intern.

Interns will follow the working hours and practices of their host shelter. Interns will make presentation at a debriefing before returning home, and submit a final report on their experiences before December 1, 2019.

Click here to fill out the application form

*Program Schedule is subject to change.

Contact: King Tsang

ANWS webinar on “Guidelines for Producing Data on Shelter Needs and Violence against Women”

22417496829_20cd72441d_oIn-house collection of data on shelter needs and the prevalence and incidence of violence against women is the starting point for improving services, lobbying for better funding, and ultimately developing more effective mechanisms at the policy level to eradicate violence against women.

This webinar on September 27, 2018 at 21:30 on Thursday evening (Taipei time) will introduce the Canadian shelter network’s rationale for shared measurement practices, and highlight some of the more practical concerns of aggregating data across a diverse network. The webinar is organized by the Asian Network of Women’s Shelters (ANWS) and hosted by Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS).

The webinar will be led by Jan Reimer, executive director of ACWS, and Cat Van Wielingen, research and projects advisor with ACWS (bios below).

ACWS is a peak body for women’s shelters in the Canadian province of Alberta, providing support to members and leadership to leverage collective knowledge, and inform solutions to end domestic violence. ACWS has decades of experience collecting data and conducting research on local, national and global levels to develop tools for shelters to use in public information campaigns and advocacy for policy change.

Please register for the webinar here. After signing up, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the webinar.

  • Webinar topic: “Guidelines for Producing Data on Shelter Needs and Violence against Women”
  • Date and time: September 27, 2018, 9:30PM Taipei Time.
  • Agenda:
    21:30 Introductions and review of webinar protocols
    21:35 Presentation by Jan and Cat
    22:20 Q&A
    22:50 Closing remarks
    23:00 Webinar ends

About the speakers:

janJan Reimer
Throughout her long and distinguished career, Jan Reimer has worked tirelessly to promote safe communities and ensure the well-being of society’s most vulnerable members – seniors, youth and women in abusive relationships. Since 2002, she has served as the Executive Director of ACWS, which supports 37women’s shelters across the province. Ms. Reimer has helped propel the organization into a leadership role on issues of domestic violence in Alberta and enhanced awareness and support for ACWS. She was instrumental in the creation of the World Conference of Women’s Shelters, with the first conference held in Edmonton in 2008.  She has served as a founding member of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters and Women’s Shelters Canada. Prior to ACWS, she worked as a consultant, developing, among other things, the Senior FriendlyTM Program, which was implemented across Canada.

An alderman for nine years, Ms. Reimer went on to serve as Mayor of the City of Edmonton from 1989 to 1995. During her two terms in office, she undertook a number of strategic initiatives, including: the Mayor’s Task Force on Safer Cities, a Youth Advisory Committee, a diversity initiative, an economic development strategy, a world renowned approach to waste management, the Mayor’s Task Force on Investment in the Arts and equitable hiring practices. Jan is the recipient of the 2006 Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, was named an “Edmontonian of the Century” and recently had a school named after her in the City of Edmonton.

Cat Van Wielingen
A Research and Projects Advisor with ACWS since 2014, Cat Van Wielingen has supported the council and its members to build and sustain their capacity to conduct action-based research. In this role, she works closely with the ACWS membership on training, support and strategic planning for the network’s shared database, data collection and outcome measurement practices.

Cat believes in collaboration and, in her time at ACWS, is fortunate to have witnessed first hand the strides shelters can make when they work collectively to end violence against women.

Prior to joining ACWS, Cat worked as the Quality Assurance Coordinator for a domestic violence organization in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She graduated from the University of Victoria in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Applied Ethics and obtained her Master’s degree in Planning at the University of Calgary in 2015.


Reference documents

2018 Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters & Japan National Shelter Symposium

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe 2018 Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters will take place in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan on November 2 before the Japan National Shelters Symposium on November 3-4, 2018.

  • Theme: Evidence based research on shelter needs and the status of laws to prevent domestic violence and protect survivors in Asia
  • Venue: Tokyo & Sapporo, Japan
  • Dates: October 30-November 4, 2018
  • Organizers: The Garden of Hope Foundation, All Japan Women’s Shelter Network, Hiroshima University, Asian Network of Women’s Shelters

The Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters will be an international platform for scholars, researchers and shelter practitioners to discuss interdisciplinary research and practices in the fields of establishing and running a shelter in Asia, and collection and analysis of data on domestic violence.

The goal of the conference is to produce a report on shelter needs and review the current domestic violence prevention laws in Asia. The report will be a tool for NGOs in the region to advocate for better shelter services and lobby for law reform.

The conference is organized in partnership with the All Japan Women’s Shelter Network and Hiroshima University. As well as leaders of the Asian shelter movement, Ms. Rosa Logar, former president of Women Against Violence in Europe (WAVE), will be a guest speaker at the event.


  • October 30 (Tue) Arrive in Tokyo.
  • October 31, 2018 (Wed) Meeting with Japanese government officials. Travel to Sapporo.
  • Nov 1, 2018 (Thu) City tour, ANWS board meeting (closed), Sapporo shelter study tour.
  • Nov 2, 2018 (Fri) Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters.
  • Nov 3, 2018 (Sat) 21st National Japan Shelter Symposium.
  • Nov 4 (Sun) 21st National Japan Shelter Symposium (workshops in Japanese language), foreign guests return.

If you are interested in attending or would like to receive more details, please contact the ANWS secretariat.

This conference is partly subsidized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Taiwan), Hiroshima University under the “Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities”, and the Japan Foundation Asia Center Grant Program for Enhancing People-to-People Exchange.

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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.


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.


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.

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.


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.