The History of ACWW

Founded in 1929, the Associated Country Women of the World grew from the International Council of Women as the natural meeting place for rural women from across the globe. The early years were complicated, with a series of adjustments made to the operating perameters and name, but by in 1930 Mrs Madge Watt, one of the founders of ACWW, presented the following statement to what became our first World Conference:

“Country women have begun to realise that their best contribution to the welfare of their families and their countries is not to stagger on under burdens too great for their strength, which result in invalidism and premature death; but, through co-operation with one another, to secure that due care for their health as mothers which is their right, and those reasonable opportunities for education and recreation, and development of their talents, which every human being should be able to claim”.

ACWW holds Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The photograph above shows ACWW representing rural women at the 51st Session of the UN Food and Agricultre Organisation in 1968.

In 2019, ACWW published a new history book, titled '90 Years of Opportunities' which celebrated the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the Association, written by Policy and Communications Manager Nick Newland. You can order a copy of the book from Central Office.

Madge Watt names ACWW

Madge Watt with ACWW's new name in 4 languages, in June 1933