The GNWS holds a World Conference of Women's Shelters to support and strengthen the women's shelters movement and promote the social change necessary to end violence and oppression against women and their children:
September 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This historic conference was hosted by the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters. During this conference, shelter organizations and national networks met to discuss issues impacting women and girls surviving violence. They identified the clear need to form a global organization (which became the Global Network of Women's Shelters).
February 27 - March 1, 2012 in Washington, DC, USA. Hosted by the U.S. National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Global Network of Women's Shelters (GNWS), this conference conference was attended by 1,500 women's shelter delegates from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. The conference supported vibrant exchanges between regions and promoted the creation of regional women's shelter networks where none existed. Focused on the many types of violence experienced by women and children in their regions, attendees examined challenges, shared successes and inspirations, identified new solutions, and travelled home with the knowledge that they are part of a global network of women's shelters that are implementing local, regional, national and international strategies for ending violence against women and children. As a closing act, the GNWS Board and body of conference delegates voted to adopt our first Call To Action.