Join our Networks

Continental/regional networks and a network of First Nations Women’s Shelters form the heart of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters.

These networks differ in their stage of development: some of them are established networks, others just started. All networks had a continental meeting at the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters in November 2015. The Asian and European Network had their (pre)conference a day before the World Conference in the Hague. The MENA network and the First nations Women’s shelters network joined GNWS during the conference in 2015.

The heart of the GNWS are its networks: continental/regional networks and a network of First nations Women’s Shelters. Our regional counterparts are located in Africa, America (North America and Latin America & the Caribbean), Asia, Europe, Middle East & North Africa and Oceania.

On this page you can find information on our networks: the countries involved in each network, and ways to contact the people involved. Depending on their stage of development you can reach them by website, Facebook page or email address.


The African Network of Women Shelters was set up to be a continent-wide organization with membership drawn from across Africa. The ANWS came into being in February 2012 following a resolution by the African Caucus during the 2nd World Conference on Women Shelters held in Washington DC. The ANWS was an affiliate of the Global Network of Women Shelters (GNWS).

Members of the steering committee of the African Network came from the following countries:
Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Dem Rep of Congo, South Africa, Cameroon, Ethiopia & Rwanda.

Please note: the ANWS is currently inactive. For connection to some of the GNWS’s African members, contact us:


The Red Interamericana de Refugios (RIRE) (Inter-American Network of Women’s Shelters) was formed in 2009 with 17 participating countries. Since its inception, RIRE has had regional meetings 2010 and 2011 in Guatemala and one in Mexico in September 2013. Over 250 participants attended the regional conferences.

In 2020 RIRE engaged in a Support and Mentoring Program, for leaders of care and protection services as well as their work teams. With great success. RIRE has since developed various mechanisms to provide advice, empowerment, containment, self-care and leadership to dozens of participants from more than 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Local Networks

Affiliated countries in RIRE: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Canada, Mexico, Barbados, United States, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras & Panama


The Asian Network of Women’s Shelters (ANWS) started in February 2012 at the 2nd World Conference of Women’s Shelters in Washington DC when over 50 representatives of Asian women’s shelters gathered at a regional round-table meeting to discuss networking, share proven innovations, and learn from each other.

The network was formally galvanized into a working organization at the 1st Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters in Taipei in September 2012, when 30 representatives from 14 countries in the region met during lunchtime sessions of the conference to draft the vision, values, purpose and objectives of the Asian Network of Women’s Shelters, and select the network’s first steering committee. The participants in this network gathered again in the Fourth World Conference of Women’s Shelters in Taiwan in 2019, and has organized annual Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters’ since 2020.


Local Networks

  • Northeast Asia: GOH / Taiwan (chair), Korea’s Women’s Hotline, NCAV/Mongolia, Tung Wah Group of Hospital / H.K, All Japan Women’s Shelter Network, Po Leung Kuk/ H.K  & JaSMin/Japan
  • Southeast Asia: CSAGA/Vietnam, Harbor COV/Cambodia, CWCC/ Cambodia, WAO/Malaysia, SCWO/Singapore, PAAVE/Singapore & Ardhanary Institute/Indonesia
  • South Asia: Saathi/Nepal, PCVC india, Naripokkho/Bangladesh & NuK/Bangladesh

Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) has been functioning since 1994. The network comprises approximately 4,000 women’s organizations combating violence against women and children in Europe. This includes over 100 focal points supported by WAVE, which work on the national level in 46 European countries. Each year a WAVE-conference is organized in a different European country, bringing together approximately 200 delegates from all across Europe.

Many European countries have national networks. You can find these, and more organization on the network, the organization behind it and their work, on WAVE’s website:

Affiliated countries: Albania, Armenia, Austria (chair), Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine & United Kingdom

Middle-East and North Africa

The network of the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region joined the Global network of Women’s shelters during the 3rd World Conference in the Hague in November 2015. This network is represented by L’Union Activist Feministe, located in Morocco.


At the MENA caucus participants of the following countries were present: Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Morocco (chair) and Tunisia.


Australia and New Zealand have long been active members of GNWS.The Australian organization Wesnet and Women’s Refuge New Zealand are aiming to build a regional networks with other countries in the region. If you have interest in joining this network, or if you have ideas to share about how we can go about building the network, please reach out to


Affiliated countries: Australia & New Zealand

First Nations Network

Since the position of first nations in several countries is different but has a lot in common, the start of a GNWS first nation network was made at the 3rd World Conference of Women Shelters in the Hague.


Affiliated countries: Canada (chair) & New Zealand

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