Thursday, August 11, 2022

The 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters in The Hague

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By Jhr. mr. Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland, Justice (Judge) in th (Dutch) Court of Appeal and Special Adviser International Affairs, appointed by the Mayor and Aldermen of The Hague


As everyone knows, The Hague is the international city of peace and justice, hosting many world wide and European institutions and tribunals in that field. Apart from permanent institutions and tribunals The Hague hosts also every year many international conferences on peace and justice.

From 3 to 6 November 2015 the city is hosting the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters about the ever lasting violence against women and girls all over the world.

Violence against women and children still occurs at a huge scale: one in every three women world wide is affected by it at some point in their lives. The United Nations is very much aware of this huge problem and declared November 25th the International Day against violence against women.

The exchange of knowledge on this subject and strengthening and expanding the network of women’s shelters is of utmost importance. In 2008 the Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS) had been founded during the first World Conference of Women’s Shelters of that year in Canada, in 2012 followed by the 2nd conference in Washington DC in the USA. The Hague is proud that had been decided that the first conference outside Northern America had to be organised in The Hague.

In November 2015 about thousand participants from over hundred countries will meet at the World Forum in The Hague for the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters. The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Mrs. Jet Bussemaker will open the conference. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will make a speech as well as Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark; through The Mary Foundation she works to help women and children who are victims of violence. Also Dr. Mukwege from Congo will make a speech; he is a world-renowed surgeon and in 1998 founder of the Panzi Hospital in East Congo where director Dr. Mukwege and his team cared for more than 30.000 survivors of sexual violence so far.

On November 25th, the International Day against violence against women, all over the world famous monuments will be enlighted with the color orange, a color of hope: the Corcavado in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the Niagara Falls in Canada, Petra in Jordan as well as the Peace Palace in The Hague and many others. In future perhaps the enlightment will be on the 25th of every month, to make us realise monthly the importance of the fight against violence against women and children worldwide.


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