Asian Network of Women’s Shelters
These by-laws constitute the code of rules adopted by the Asian Network of Women’s Shelters (hereinafter referred to as “ANWS”) for the regulation and management of its business.
Article 2 Background to ANWS
Section 2.01. Summary
ANWS is a regional alliance of women’s shelters in Asia formed to promote cross-learning, capacity building, and advocacy in the Asian region as part of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters; and in the spirit of the outcomes of first and second World Conferences of Women’s Shelters, and the first Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters.
Section 2.02. The First World Conference of Women’s Shelters
The first World Conference of Women’s Shelters on September 8-11, 2008 in Edmonton, Canada was organized by the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and attended by over 800 shelter workers from 51 countries. Outcomes included pledges to: establish local, national and international networks; track best practices; collect data on global shelter statistics; establish international communities of practice; and increase media and public awareness.
Section 2.03. The Global Network of Women’s Shelters
In 2009, 23 founding members from 17 countries signed an expression of commitment to establish the Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS) with a vision of “an equal world where women and their children live free from violence”, and a purpose “to unite the women’s shelter movement globally to end violence against women and their children”. GNWS activities include: holding annual executive board meetings, running an annual Global Shelter Data Count, continuing to organize the World Conference of Women’s Shelters, and building regional networks.
Section 2.04. The Second World Conference of Women’s Shelters
The US National Network for Ending Domestic Violence in collaboration with the GNWS interim board members organized the second World Conference of Women’s Shelters on February 27-March 1, 2012 in Washington, DC. Approximately 1,500 participants from 96 countries attended the conference.
Section 2.05. Regional Representation
During the second World Conference of Women’s Shelters, the GNWS interim executive board announced that the next GNWS executive board would comprise representatives from each of the UN geographical regions, with additional places dedicated to indigenous women. The GNWS interim board decided that elections would be held to determine the composition of the next board, and pledged to strengthen regional networking. Regional meetings at the second World Conference of Women’s Shelters included a meeting of 50 representatives from Asia, who established the foundations for ANWS and the first Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters.
Section 2.06. The First Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters
The Garden of Hope Foundation in partnership with Good Shepherd Social Welfare Services hosted the first Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters on September 3-5, 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan. Over 100 delegates from 14 Asian countries attended the conference.
Section 2.07. The Asian Network of Women’s Shelters
Recognizing the outcomes of first and second World Conferences of Women’s Shelters; and following the vision, purpose, and activities of GNWS; delegates at the first Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters launched ANWS on September 5, 2012. Delegates selected a steering committee of six members from the three subregions of South Asia, Northeast Asia, and Southeast Asia to guide the identity and structure of ANWS, and form the basis of an official board.
Article 3 Vision, Values, Objectives
Section 3.01. Vision
The vision of ANWS is of a just world in which communities and families live free from all forms of violence.
Section 3.02. Values
The values of ANWS are for loving, warm, harmonious, equitable, mutually-respectful and inclusive families and societies.
Section 3.03. Objectives
The objectives of ANWS are to:
(a) Be a platform to promote cross-learning between countries, regions and subregions;
(b) Promote capacity building at all levels to enhance effective management-skills and delivery of services;
(c) Strengthen advocacy for policies and legislations related to violence against women; and
(d) Be a representative network that can raise Asian voices globally and create national and subregional networks.
Article 4 ANWS Secretariat
Section 4.01. Location of the Secretariat Office
The ANWS secretariat office shall be located within the Asian region. The secretariat office is currently hosted by the Garden of Hope Foundation in Taipei, Taiwan. The secretariat should be located in the country of the chairperson of the board members.
Section 4.02. Responsibilities of the Secretariat
The secretariat is responsible for working towards achieving the ANWS objectives, and developing and coordinating plans to implement resolutions passed by the ANWS members’ meeting and by the board members.
The secretariat shall carry out the following activities in order to realize the objectives outlined in Article 3.03.
(a) Create a platform to promote cross-learning between countries, regions and subregions, including: (i) the ANWS website, (ii) the Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters, (iii) forums and events at the World Conference of Women’s Shelters.
(b) Promote capacity building at all levels to enhance effective management-skills and delivery of services, including: (i) a visiting plan for ANWS members to go on study tours of women’s shelters in other Asian countries, (ii) specialist training programs.
(c) Strengthen advocacy for policies and legislations related to violence against women, including: (i) public relations and awareness campaigns, (ii) participation in international campaigns, (iii) lobbying governments on a regional level, (iv) publishing research, (v) producing other promotional materials.
(d) Help ANWS to be a representative network that can raise Asian voices globally and create national and subregional networks, by facilitating: (i) Asian representation in GNWS, (ii) outreach programs to build membership, (iii) providing open and transparent information to member countries.
(e) Carrying out fundraising activities.
Section 4.03. Management of the Secretariat
The secretariat shall be under the management of the chairperson of the board members, who is in turn responsible to the board members.
Section 4.04. Sources of Revenue of the Secretariat
The operational management of the secretariat shall be based on the following sources of revenue:
(a) Annual membership dues paid by the members;
(b) Donations, gifts of estate, government or foundation grants;
(c) Income from fundraising campaigns;
(d) Income from publications;
(e) Other forms of income.
Article 5 Membership
Section 5.01. Members of ANWS
ANWS shall have a single class of voting members called “institutional members”. ANWS shall also have non-voting individual/honorary/associate members as approved by the board members who should be well-recognized people or organizations in the field of women’s rights or violence against women, or survivors, who can help promote the values and objectives of ANWS.
Section 5.02. Institutional Members – Eligibility, Admission, Voting Rights
(a) Eligibility of institutional members. Institutional members must be running at least one shelter in Asia, or working on non-violence or promoting legislation that is linked to shelters in Asia.
(b) Admission to institutional members. Organizations meeting the criteria set forth in section 5.02(a) shall be eligible for admission to membership of ANWS as institutional members subject to review and approval by the board members.
(c) Voting rights. Each institutional member shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the institutional members.
Section 5.03. All Members – Termination, Resignation, Transferability
(a) Termination of Membership. The following provisions set forth the basis for termination of ANWS membership: (i) when a member has failed to pay its membership dues without justifiable grounds it shall lose all the privileges specified by the by-laws; or (ii) the board members may, by the act of a majority of the board members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present, terminate the membership of any institutional member who no longer meets the standards for eligibility set forth in this article 5.
(b) Resignation. Any member may resign by written notice to the chairperson or his or her designee, but such resignation shall not relieve the member so resigning of the obligation to pay any dues theretofore accrued and unpaid.
(c) Non-transferability of Membership. Membership of ANWS is not transferable or assignable unless otherwise determined by the board members.
Section 5.04. All Members – Conduct
Each Member must be committed to the vision and values of ANWS as stated in Article 3.
Section 5.05. Institutional Members – Dues
The membership due is a flat rate of US$100. Initial membership dues shall be calculated proportionately according to the months remaining in the year (so if the institution joins in June membership dues shall be 50% of the annual fee) and then paid on an annual basis on January 1 of each year after that.
Article 6 Meeting of Members
Section 6.01. Annual/Biannual Members’ Meeting
The annual/biannual meeting of the members shall be held every year or every two years at the Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters, the World Conference of Women’s Shelters, or on another date to be fixed by the board members. Institutional members and non-voting individual/honorary/associate members may attend such meetings, or any other meetings referred to in this article 6.
Section 6.02. Special Meetings of Members
Special meetings of the members may be called by the chairperson, one-third of the board members, or one-quarter of the institutional members.
Section 6.03. Function of the Institutional Members at Meetings
At any meeting of the membership the institutional members may exercise the authorities specified in article 7.
Section 6.04. Place of the Members’ Meeting
The chairperson may designate any place in the Asian region, the location of the World Conference of Women’s Shelters, or another international gathering that is convenient for members to attend for annual/biannual meetings or for any special meetings. If the chairperson determines, the meeting may be convened over the internet.
Section 6.05. Notice of the Members’ Meeting
Written notice stating the place, day and hour of any meeting shall be delivered by email to each member not less than 30 days before the date of the meeting.
Section 6.06. Representation of Member Organizations
Each institutional member shall designate one representative to cast its vote at meetings of members.
Section 6.07. Quorum of the Members’ Meeting
One-third of institutional members who are present on the date of any meeting shall constitute a quorum. The affirmative vote of a majority of those members shall be conclusive unless the vote of a greater proportion is required by these by-laws.
Section 6.08. Methods of Voting by Members
Voting on all matters on which institutional members are entitled to vote may be conducted at the annual/biannual meeting of members, or by ballots submitted by mail, email or e-vote.
Section 6.09. Resolutions Proposed by Members
Institutional members of ANWS may propose resolutions on subjects within the authorities specified in Article 7 by following these procedures:
(a) Submit a proposed resolution, including supporting reasons, in writing to the chairperson at least 30 days prior to the date of the members’ meeting.
(b) A resolution considered to relate to an emergency situation may be submitted no later than five days before the meeting, but will require a three-quarters vote at the membership meeting to be placed on the agenda.
Article 7 Authority of Institutional Members
Institutional members shall have the following final authority:
- To approve changes to the ANWS by-laws.
- To approve from time to time changes to the level of dues and/or the methodology for assessing membership dues payments by ANWS members.
- To approve changes to the membership eligibility criteria set forth in the by-laws.
- To elect the ANWS board of directions.
- To affirm major program policies approved by the ANWS board members, as appropriate.
Article 8 Board Members
Section 8.01. General Powers of the board members
The daily matters of ANWS shall be governed by its board members who shall act with due regard to the cooperative nature of ANWS.
The powers of the board shall include:
(a) Electing the office bearers.
(b) Approving the annual plan and budget of ANWS.
(c) Ensuring the programs and activities of ANWS are evaluated periodically and that appropriate policies are adopted.
(d) Ensuring that the ANWS secretariat operates in the most ethical, transparent, and accountable manner possible.
(e) Approving new members.
(f) Allocating the resources of ANWS.
(g) Raising funds for ANWS.
(h) Forming and overseeing the activities of committees of the board.
(i) Establishing the general program and priorities of ANWS.
(j) Hiring and recruiting long-, short-term staff, advisors, consultants, and other paid staff, who shall work under the chairperson.
(k) Making recommendations to the membership on matters of concern to them, such as official resolutions of ANWS, major program policies, and the level of ANWS’s dues.
Section 8.02. Number and Qualifications of board members
The number of board members shall be no fewer than five, including the three office bearers – chairperson, treasurer and general secretary – who shall serve as ex officio board members. Board members shall be members of ANWS in good standing.
Section 8.03. Subregional Representation on the Board
The board members shall have at least one representatives from each of the three subregions of Asia including Southeast Asia, South Asia and Northeast Asia.
Section 8.04. Classes and Tenure of Board Members
Board members shall be elected for a term of four years and shall serve until their successors are elected and have qualified. Unless otherwise specified in these by-laws, board members shall serve a maximum of two terms of four-years. The ANWS office bearers may serve a maximum of four additional years. A person who has served as a board member for the maximum consecutive time period permitted by these by-laws may, after a one-year period following the expiration of his/her last term, be re-elected as a board member.
Section 8.05. Election of Board Members
(a) Nominations. Nominations may be made by any member in good standing to the election committee. Insofar as possible the election committee shall propose two or more candidates to fill each vacancy. The election committee shall determine the eligibility of the nominees, ascertain their willingness to stand or re-stand for office, and ensure that the board reflects a balanced representation of subregions as stated in section 8.03. If a vacancy on the board has been created by the resignation, death or incapacity of a board member, the procedures of section 8.06 are to apply. The election committee shall submit its nominations in writing to the voting members at least 30 days in advance of the members’ meeting.
(b) Voting for board members. At the membership meeting for the election of a new board members, each voting member shall be entitled to vote for as many persons as there are vacancies to be filled.
Section 8.06. Filling of Unscheduled Vacancies on the Board Members
In the event a vacancy on the board members has been created by the resignation, death or incapacity of a board member, the election committee shall recommend a replacement to the board, who shall appoint such a replacement by a majority vote of a quorum of the board members at a duly convened meeting.
Section 8.07. Regular Board Meetings
Regular meetings of the board shall be held at least once every four months. The chairperson may determine the time and place of regular meetings of the board with at least 10 days advance notice to the board members. If the chairperson determines, such meetings may be convened over the internet.
Section 8.08. Special Board Meetings
Special meetings of the board members may be called by the chairperson or one-third of the board members. The person or persons so calling a special meeting shall fix the time and place for the meeting. Notice shall be given at least five days prior to the special meeting.
Section 8.09. Quorum of the Board Members
A majority of the board members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the board.
Section 8.10. Resignation and Removal of Board Members
Any board member may resign by submitting written notice of resignation to the general secretary or so informing the chairperson. Any board member may be removed from office at any time with good cause by resolution of a majority of the board members at a meeting at which a quorum is present. The board member whose removal is sought is entitled to the opportunity to address the board, either in writing or in person, at the meeting.
Article 9 Committees
Section 9.01. General Rules for Committees
Committees are charged with developing strategies to achieve ANWS’s program and priorities, and long-term objectives. The board members shall maintain and create as and when required additional committees, which may exist for a fixed or indefinite term, and be disbanded at any time, by a vote of the majority of the board members. A committee shall have 3-5 members. The board members will annually appoint the chair and members of each committee, and decide other aspects of the functions and procedures of the committees. Any ANWS member, regardless of whether they are a board members, may be made a member of a committee, apart from the election committee, with the approval of the board members. The chairperson of the board shall be an ex officio, non-voting member of all committees except as otherwise may be provided in these by-laws.
Section 9.02. Election Committee
Prior to elections, the board will form a three-member election committee of board members who are not standing for election to oversee the nomination and election process.
Article 10 Office Bearers
Section 10.01. Office Bearers
The office bearers of ANWS shall be (a) a chairperson, (b) a general secretary, (c) a treasurer.
Section 10.02. Election and Term of Office
The office bearers of ANWS shall be elected by the board. Members shall be informed of the results of the office bearer selection process. The term of each office bearer shall commence effective at the close of the meeting of members and continue until the following year.
Section 10.03. Removal and Resignation of office bearers
Any office bearer elected by the board may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the board whenever in their judgment the best interests of the ANWS would be served thereby. Any office bearer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the chairperson. Such resignation shall take effect at the time specified in the notice, or immediately if no time is specified.
Section 10.04. The Role, Function, and Authority of the Chairperson
(a) The chairperson shall be selected from among the ranks of the board members in consensus with the majority of the board members.
(b) The chairperson will have the authority to represent ANWS and enter into any partnership or collaboration with relevant entities and organizations to promote the goals and objectives of ANWS nationally, regionally and globally, with the consensus of the majority of the board members. She/he shall have the power of signature on behalf of ANWS.
(c) In consultation with board members the chairperson can hire and recruit long- and short-term staff, advisors, consultants, and other paid staff or volunteers, who shall will be accountable to the chairperson.
(d) The chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the members and the board members.
(e) In the absence of the chairperson, the chairperson’s designee shall preside.
(f) The chairperson shall hold all other responsibilities and perform all other duties described in these by-laws and incident to the office of chairperson, and such other duties as may be prescribed by the members from time to time.
Section 10.05. General Secretary
The general secretary shall keep minutes of the meetings of the members, and of the board members. The general secretary shall make minutes of the annual/biannual meeting of members available to members in advance of the next meeting. The general secretary shall make minutes of meetings of the board members available to members of the board in advance of the next meeting. Such minutes shall be made available to institutional members upon request. The general secretary shall also have such other powers and duties as are generally incident to the position or as may be assigned by the chairperson or the board members. The secretariat will support the general secretary in her/his functions and responsibilities.
Section 10.06. Treasurer
The treasurer shall have oversight of the collection and disbursement of the funds of ANWS and of all records thereof. The treasurer shall submit an annual financial report to the board members. The treasurer shall also have such other powers and duties as are generally incident to the position or as may be assigned by the chairperson or the board members.
Article 11 Miscellaneous
Section 11.01. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of ANWS shall be from January 1 through December 31.
Section 11.02. Books of Account
There shall be kept at the secretariat office of ANWS correct books of account of the activities and transactions of ANWS, including records for audit if required, required tax forms, a copy of these by-laws, and all minutes of meetings of the board members.
Article 12 Amendments to the By-Laws
These by-laws may be amended, altered or repealed only by a vote of two-thirds of the institutional members present at an annual/biannual or special membership meeting duly called in accordance with these by-laws and at which a quorum is present.
Approved by the board members May 15, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan.