Violence against women and children is the largest crime against humanity. It happens in all societies, religions, at all times, at any place in the world. It affects millions of women every day of which thousands die. One in three women in this world are or will be confronted with violence against her during her lifetime. The United Nations has called violence against women ‘a worldwide pandemic’.

The Foundation Diversity and Inclusion of Women Across (DIWA) has been created under Dutch law to contribute to stopping violence against women and alleviating its effects. DIWA uses Dutch and international experiences that are worth diffusing, such as advanced methods as used in rescue and rehabilitation centres and the establishment of centres for women entrepreneurship, as part of an effort to empower women. DIWA participates in projects or it initiates projects of its own.

Right now we are engaged in two projects.

IT’S YOUR TURN NOW! - Programme for Women Entrepreneurship in India

In February 2014, DIWA and its partners, Janki Devi Memorial College and Ecorys India Ltd, both in Delhi, India, launched a Women Entrepreneurship programme at Janki Devi. Janki Devi Memorial College (, now part of the University of Delhi, was founded in 1959 by the famous Gandhian Shri Brij Krishan Chandiwala in memory of his mother Smt. Janki Devi. The objective was and is the promotion of women's education. Since then, the College has changed its priorities, perspectives and scale, which is reflected in the syllabi and curricula. The College essentially caters to students of Humanities and Commerce.

The project aims at increasing the knowledge and skills of young women at the College about entrepreneurship and to stimulate and support them in setting up their own enterprise. Together with this it will develop their confidence in their abilities to become entrepreneurs and support their belief that the future is theirs. Some thirty teams are working on their business plans; five are already selling. If you compare the (shy) attitude of the students at the beginning and their modus operandi now, you see women empowerment in action.

Organising the Third World Conference on Women’s Shelters

Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS) is the international organisation that coordinates contacts between workers and institutions in the field of women’s shelters. GNWS has organised two international conferences and the plan is to have the third in The Hague, The Netherlands, in November 2015.

Together with its partners, DIWA has been assigned to start the preparations for this conference, that aims at the participation of 2 000 workers in the field from over sixty countries. The Dutch government has financed the preparatory stages and supports the conference strongly; five ministries have formed a coordination team to give further assistance.

The Award winners at the Second GNWS Conference in Washington DC, 2012

The conference will enable participants to share experiences and exchange information about new approaches. It will allow for the preparation of formal and informal international collaboration initiatives. Last but not least, the previous conferences have created enormous inspiration and energy; they were a boost to women who are counteracting violence in the most difficult of circumstances.

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