We cover a huge geographical area from the more industrial south, along the beautiful coastline and into the more rural villages in the north of the county. We are the largest Federation with 9500 members in 225 Institutes Our Aim is: To offer opportunities for all women to enjoy friendship, to learn, to widen their horizons and together to influence local, national and international affairs. We are a limited company with Charitable status and are governed by our written Constitution.
The Board of Trustees or Board of Directors, known as the executive committee, consists of 12 women who are elected by the members biennially. It is their responsibility to oversee the day-to-day running of the organisation.
This committee is headed by the Federation Chairman, June Ward.
The Women's Institute started in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada in 1897 as a 'self help' group for farmer's wives. Adelaide Hoodless's youngest child had died from drinking contaminated milk and she was determined that it shouldn't happen to other children. She set up the Women's Institute with the aim of educating and supporting its members which is a tradition the WI upholds to-day. Since its inception the WI has been non-sectarian and non-party political. However, as the largest women's organisation in the country, we are a force to be reckoned with and continually campaign for changes and improvements to the position of women and that of their families. We pride ourselves on the fact that all members pay the same subscription and are equal in all ways.
Mrs Alfred Watt brought the idea of W.I. to Great Britain in 1915 and the first meeting was held on September 16th in Lanfairpwll on the Isle of Anglesey. Subscription to the WI was set at 2/- (10 pence). The organisation spread quickly throughout England and Wales and The Federation of Essex Women's Institutes FEWI, was formed in 1917 and now has around 225 WIs with some 8, 500 members. Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have similar organisations in The Scottish Rural Women's Institute and the Northern Ireland WI.
Four former women’s agencies have merged into one at the UN, to be known as UN Women and ACWW has a seat on this agency. Ban Ki-moon, UN General Secretary described this event as ‘a watershed’ and went on ‘ UN Women is recognition of a simple truth. Equality for women and girls is not only a basic human right; it is a social and economic imperative. Where women are educated and empowered, economies are more productive and strong. Where women are fully represented, societies are more peaceful and stable'.