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RWN hosts new African Network Meeting


RWN played host to the African Network of Women Shelters (ANWS) Steering Committee Meeting held on December 3rd - 5th, 2012 in Kigali.

The ANWS is the newly constituted affiliate of the Global Network of Women Shelters (GNWS). GNWS was founded in 2009 to unite and strengthen the women’s shelter movement globally to make change to end violence against women and their children.

During the 2nd GNWS World Conference of Women’s Shelters in Washington DC in February 2012, over 50 organizations from Africa came together with the realization that women’s shelters and safe spaces across the continent and other regions in the world operate without formal connections to other safe spaces. This led to the formation of the African Network of Women Shelters.

A Steering Committee comprising of representatives from eleven African countries was elected to come up with an action plan based on issues raised by the African caucus. RWN was elected chair of the Steering Committee representing Rwanda.

Other countries in the Committee include Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Cameroon, Liberia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Steering Committee meeting brought together the eleven African representatives, as well as Rwanda Government departments and organisations stakeholders in women’s centers and safe spaces in Rwanda.

One of the outcomes of the meeting was the ANWS Call to Action aimed at African governments, civil society and international community and development partners that was issued at a press conference at the end of the meeting.

The Call to Action urged them to enact and implement policies and legislation to establish and support shelters and safe spaces for women and girls in Africa.

Kigali Call to Action

We, the Global Network of Women's Shelters and the over 1,400 advocates and activists representing 96 countries in attendance at the 2nd World Conference of Women's Shelters, call upon all governments to develop and support targeted actions to prevent and respond to violence against women and children. One out of every three women is beaten, raped, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Governments have an inherent responsibility to ensure the safety of women and children in all areas, including within the home.