June 27, 2023 – Saathi successfully organized the first-ever national conference on women’s shelters in Kathmandu from June 25 to 27, 2023. The conference garnered crucial participation, with over 200 attendees, including shelter operators, survivors, rights activists, gender experts, young feminists, psychologists, government officials, and duty bearers from provincial and local governments.

The three-day event provided a platform for diverse stakeholders to engage in fruitful discussions and collaborations aimed at improving services and support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. The conference featured six thematic sessions and four plenary sessions, covering critical topics such as standard operating procedures, referral mechanisms, survivor-centric approaches, inclusivity, and sustainability.

Participants shared valuable insights, best practices, and innovative approaches to enhance the quality and accessibility of women’s shelters nationwide. They discussed strategies for strengthening support systems, addressing legal and institutional challenges, and fostering collaboration among various stakeholders involved in survivor care and empowerment.

Issuing a 17-point Kathmandu declaration at the end of the conference, it emphasized the importance of survivor empowerment, recognizing their unique needs, and ensuring a survivor-centric approach in all aspects of shelter services. The participants stressed the significance of developing a uniform and standardized operating procedures and robust referral mechanisms to provide comprehensive support to survivors.

The event also highlighted the essential role of government agencies and duty bearers in creating an enabling environment for women’s shelters, including adequate funding, policy support, and coordination mechanisms.

Glimpses of Day 1

Glimpses of Day 2

Glimpses of Day 3