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Announcing the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters

December 10, 2014

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is thrilled to join our global colleagues in announcing the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelthers, which will be held in The Hague, Netherlands November 3-5, 2015.

“Violence against women exists in the U.S. and across the globe because social and political structures allow it,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of NNEDV. “The 3rd World Conference will build upon the solid foundation of the first two world conferences to strengthen our global movement to end the scourge of gender-based violence – by supporting survivors and victim advocates pushing for systemic change.”

The purpose of the World Conferences of Women’s Shelters is to bring together service providers working to end gender-based violence to nurture relationships across borders, share information and promising practices, and build a global movement that works toward transforming governmental, societal, and community responses to gender-based violence.


The 1st World Conference of Women’s Shelters was held in Canada in 2008. It was the first time advocates around the world came together to network, to share proven innovations, and to learn from international experts and each other. Out of that conference, the Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS) was created. Since its creation, regional networks of women’s shelters were created in Africa and Asia, connecting shelters and advocates.

NNEDV hosted the 2nd World Conference of Women’s Shelters outside of Washington, DC in March of 2012. Over 1,400 individuals attended from 84 countries to connect, share, and learn about violence against women issues that cut across the globe and responses that can prevent and end gender-based violence. Geared directly to service providers and on-the-ground practitioners, the World Conference provides a unique space for practice-based experiential information sharing.

“The energy in the conference was palpable,” said Cindy Southworth, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at NNEDV. “It was extraordinary to be able to connect with advocates from all corners of the earth, who are on the front lines of this lifesaving movement.”

It was extraordinary to be able to connect with advocates from all corners of the earth, who are on the front lines of this lifesaving movement.

The 124 sessions were complimented by appearances of keynote speakers, including HRH Princess Mary of Denmark; former U.S. President Bill Clinton; Reese Witherspoon; U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD); U.S. Ambassador at Large on Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer; Senior Advisor to the U.S President, Valerie Jarett; and White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal. Gloria Gaynor closed out the conference with a spectacular performance, singing her empowering anthem “I Will Survive.”

“Today is Human Rights Day – a time to recognize that women facing violence cannot exercise their rights in any sphere,” said Gandy. “The 3rd World Conference will help us build on our global momentum to free our world of gender-based violence.”

Learn more about the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters.