Speakers at the Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters, 2 November 2015, The Hague

Bandana Rana, Monique Wilson, Chi Hui-jung and Ivy Josiah are just some of the top speakers heading the lineup at the Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters on 2 November, 2015 in the Hague.

Specially designed for Asian participants at the Third World Conference of Women’s Shelters, the Asian conference will focus on regional issues, with the goal of forming strategies to end the endemic problem of violence against women (VAW) and children. Check here to view the full program.

I2UJtxyVBandana Rana (Nepal) has more than 25 years of active engagement in promoting women’s rights and gender equality. She is a leader of the women’s movement who believes in creating opportunities, saving lives and promoting peace for a just and equal society.

Bandana is a founder and executive chair of Saathi (which means ‘friend’ in Nepali), a non-governmental, non-profit organization, established in 1992 to address contemporary challenges faced by Nepali women.

Bandana worked as editor/anchor on Nepali TV for twenty years. She founded Sancharika Samuha (Forum of Women in Media) and was its first elected president. In the past she has also served as Chairperson of Nepal’s National Women’s Commission, was the first woman to serve in the board of directors of Radio Nepal and Press Council of Nepal, and has also worked as gender and communications consultant at UNDP, UNCEF, FAO, UNIFEM (now UN Women).

image1Monique Wilson (Philippines) is the global director of the One Billion Rising campaign and a veteran actresses. At 18 she starred in the original London West End production of Miss Saigon.  In 1994, at 24 years old, she founded the New Voice Company (NVC) theatre group which has produced The Vagina Monologues since 2000 and V-Day events since 2001, and helped change laws on sex trafficking and domestic violence with performances in the Philippine Senate and Congress.

Monique is a member of GABRIELA – a national alliance of Philippine grassroots women’s organizations, and is the Director of International Affairs of the Gabriela Women’s Party. She is the international spokesperson for the Purple Rose Campaign to end sex trafficking of Filipina women and children, and has spearheaded campaigns for comfort women.

Before becoming Director of One Billion Rising, Monique spearheaded and headed an MFA Acting Course for International actors at East 15 Acting School in London.


Rabeea Hadi (Pakistan) is Director of Advocacy and Ending Violence Against Women at the Aurat Foundation. Rabeea also provides socio-legal support to survivors of violence and produces related project reports published on a quarterly and yearly basis. Previously, Rabeea worked as psycho social counselor with the International Rescue Committee.

Established in 1986, Aurat Foundation works for women’s empowerment and democratic governance in Pakistan. It has its headquarters in Islamabad, five regional offices, and 37 project offices across Pakistan.


Kitanaka Chisato (Japan) is president of the All Japan Women’s Shelters Network and associate professor of the Harassment Consultation Office at Hiroshima University.

The All Japan Women’s Shelters Network has more than 110 members that support survivors of DV and sexual violence across the country. Established in 1998 the network organizes national conference, provides interest free loans for survivors, provides training programs for social workers, policy recommendation and lobbying, a hotline service, and advocacy through the internet, radio, book, and DVDs.

ivy josiah profileIvy Josiah (Malaysia) is a woman rights activist, former Executive Director of Women’s Aid Organisation which is one of the leading women’s rights organisations in Malaysia. WAO has a shelter and programmes for VAW survivors, a Child Care Centre, and an advocacy/law reform/outreach arm.

Ivy was on the Board of IWRAW Asia Pacific and is presently in the Regional Council of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law Development, the region’s leading network of feminist organisations and women with 183 members from 25 countries.

Ivy is involved in women’s rights and democracy work generally. She’s also a dancer and performer, has strong ties in the arts community, and she’s recently started a web talk show called The IvyGram. Ivy will be speaking on “Shelter services in a cross cultural, multi ethnic and multi religious society”.

LorraineLimPhoto_2013Lorraine Lim (Singapore) is the manager of Star Shelter. She has been counselling abused women and children since 2008. She manages operations and the therapeutic programmes of Star Shelter which include counselling, art therapy and group work for the residents.  Through therapy, casework and enrichment programmes, Lorraine and her team help residents heal from the trauma of abuse, empower and equip them with the tools they need to lead a life free from violence.

mashuda photo (Latest)Mashuda Khatun Shefali (Bangladesh) is the founder and Executive Director of Nari Uddug Kendra (NUK), and a dedicated women’s rights advocate. NUK works to promote gender equality, human rights and the personal and political empowerment of women and girls in Bangladesh since 1991. Mashuda has over 35 years of experience working on gender, labor rights and defending gender based violence against rural women and girls.

Before founding NUK, Ms. Shefali worked in the development sector includes the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and several citizen sector organizations, women’s groups and donors. This period concluded with a position in the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), where she managed development fund for a large number of NGOs through the country.

About the Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters

  • Date: 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

Registration is now closed. Please contact Anthony at goh987@goh.org.tw if you would like to learn more about the conference.