Associated Country Women of the World

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Associated Country Women of the World
Mary Sumner House Mothers Union HQ Tufton Street - - 1132363.jpg
HeadquartersMary Sumner House, 24 Tufton Street, London SW1P 3RB
Region served
Official language
World President
Ruth Shanks

The Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) is the largest international organization for both rural and urban women,[1] with a membership of nine million in over 70 countries. ACWW holds a triennial conference and publishes a magazine, The Countrywoman, four times a year.

Brief History[edit]

Late 19th Century – rural women's groups were set up independently. Communication between groups enabled more country women to come together in friendship and work towards similar goals.

London April 1929 – first International Conference of Rural Women – 46 women from 24 countries attended four-day conference.

Vienna 1930 – conference decision by the International Council of Women to form a 'Liaison Committee' of rural women's organizations.

Stockholm 1933 – the committee became the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW).

In 2013, ACWW-affiliated groups around the world celebrated the 80th anniversary of their founding. The British Columbia Women's Institutes marked the occasion with an article by WI Historian, Ruth Fenner. This followed her biography of founder, Mrs Alfred Watt.[2]

August 17–23, 2016 a conference at the University of Warwick. The next triennial conference will be in Melbourne, April 4-10, 2019.[1]


ACWW funds projects in the following areas:

  • Literacy
  • Health education
  • Nutrition and home economics
  • Agricultural training and development
  • Income generation
  • Water and sanitation
  • Civic conscientiousness/community involvement

Aims and Objectives[edit]

  • To raise the standard of living of rural women and families through education, training and community development programs.
  • To provide practical support to its members and help them set up income-generating businesses.
  • To give rural women a voice at international level through its links with United Nations agencies.

Through projects in rural communities, ACWW aims to improve the standard of living for all women and their families in the following areas:

ACWW also advocates for rural women and their families through its links with the UN. In addition to its special consultative status with UNESCO, ACWW is a member of the following UN groups:

  • Working Group on Girls (part of UNICEF)
  • NGO Committee on UNIFEM (part of UN Women)
  • NGO Committee on UNICEF
  • NGO Committee on the Status of Women
  • NGO Committee on Sustainable Development
  • NGO Committee on the Family
  • NGO Committee on Ageing
  • NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee

ACWW is a founding organization of the Alliance for Health Promotion and a member of the NGO Group on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


  1. ^ a b "Home". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  2. ^ "A Canadian Woman of the 20th Century Who Has Made a Difference". South Vancouver Island Women's Institutes. Retrieved 17 March 2013.

External links[edit]