"We Call Upon All Governments to develop and support targeted actions

to prevent and respond to violence against women and children."

Join Us in Calling Upon Governments to Take Action

In March 2012, a collective body of 1,400 delegates from 96 countries at the 2nd World Conference of Women's Shelters and the Global Network of Women's Shelters, wrote and adopted a Global Call To Action urging governments to take the needed actions to address and end violence against women and children. This Global Call To Action was mailed to the Heads of State of all governments worldwide.

We encourage communities, women's shelters and shelter networks to adopt it and use it as a framework to support and demand what women and children need from your local, national and regional governments to be safe and free from violence and abuse. 

A Dozen Steps to Start Building Momentum & Creating Change

  1. Read the Global Call To Action.
  2. Get involved with the Global Network of Women's Shelters and with your regional networks of women's shelters. Join us.
  3. Spread the word. Share information about GNWS and the Global Call to Action with others in your community, regions, networks, and countries.
  4. Translate it into local languages. Post translations on your websites and social networks. Provide translations for the GNWS website.
  5. Ask women and children who are experiencing violence what they want and need from their governments. Always include a diversity of survivors in all Call to Action discussions and decisions.
  6. Meet to evaluate your government's actions. Hold and host local, regional, and national meetings with women's shelters and other stakeholders to discuss what your governments are doing well and to decide what they still need to do. For example,
    • Has your country signed on to international conventions to address violence against women and children?
    • Has your country fulfilled its obligations under any treaties it signed?
    • Has your country made other committments to end violence against women and children? (UN Women's SAY NO ~ UNITE To End Violence Against Women ~ COMMIT) lists committments made by various governments.)
    • Has your country created good national violence against women policies and legal frameworks? Are they properly funded and implemented?
    • What gaps have you identified? What improvements should be made? Do current policies or laws help one group of women but harm another?
  7. Add your voice. Encourage other voices. Listen, discuss and debate. The greater diversity of voices heard, the better we will be at identifying and calling for effective actions that support ALL women and children.
  8. Take a stance as a national or regional network of women's shelters. Compose a Network Call to Action for your region's governments. Try to be specific about demands. 
  9. Ask governments at all levels to take action - local, regional, national. Be concrete. Describe the specific actions that each levels of your government/s need to take and why those actions are so important for women and children in your region.
  10. Take action to raise community and national awareness about women's rights as human rights. Organize events and campaigns that promote your Calls To Action. Raise awareness about the need for government action. Answer questions. Explain why specific government actions will help save and improve women and children's lives, increase safety and protect their human and civil rights.
  11. Ask people to support the right of women and children live free from violence.
    • Create petitions that people can sign to show their support for your local, regional, or national Call To Action, along with the Global Call To Action.
    • Ask stakeholders and influential leaders (government and non-government) to take a stance and demonstrate public support for those Calls To Action.
    • Identify community actions and individual behaviors that concretely respond to and work to prevent violence against women and children. Ask individuals and/or groups in government and in communities to pledge to do some of these actions or/and behaviours.
  12. Share your ideas, activities, Calls To Action, challenges and successes with GNWS. We can collect and compile these on the GNWS website so all women's shelters & networks can learn about and benefit from each others successes, strategies and work.