What does ACWW do?



The Associated Country Women of the World is an International Non-Governmental Organisation and pursues its charitable objectives through its member societies, individual members and networks of non-member Non-Governmental Organisations. Together, we represent more than 9 million women in more than 80 countries around the world.

We do this through advocacy, partnership, sharing knowledge and local activities. This includes using our Consultative Status with the UN and its Agencies to represent rural women, facilitate better access to better information resources, funding community development projects and training programmes.

Known by members and supporters globally by our acronym ACWW, we are proud to be celebrating our 90th Anniversary in 2019. It will be marked by the 29th Triennial World Conference, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia.

Below you can read some highlights and excerpts from our Annual Report, as well as learning more about ACWW's work around the world.

ACWW Logo



ACWW was founded in 1929, and registered as a charity in 1984
By 2017, ACWW had grown to 445 Societies in 82 Countries
In 2017 we moved to our new Central office in South East London

The lifeblood of our organisation is our membership. From the smallest branches to vast umbrella organisations, and individuals around the world, we rely on these generous and passionate supporters allow us to invest in empowering women.

Our focus remains securely on supporting and advocating for women in rural communities, which requires investment in project development, advocacy and core administrative costs. We are very grateful to our membership and supporters globally for their donations to Pennies for Friendship and Projects funds.

Donations are the lifeblood of ACWW

Since 1977, we have invested more than £4 million in development projects
Our projects are run with local partner groups, ensuring that they are relevant and sustainable
We feel it is vital to monitor and evaluate our projects and measure their impacts

At the heart of ACWW's work is women's empowerment, and our projects are a crucial contribution to a safe, sustainable, progressive future for women and communities worldwide. We believe our model of responsive funding - reacting to the needs of a community rather than dictating what they need or should have - is critical for female empowerment. We implement responsive funding through small-scale, community-based projects which are led by local women.

We work with partner NGOs, organisations, and groups in their own local communities to ensure that we are reaching the right people, and that the projects funded are relevant and are making a sustainable difference.

Our special emphasis on partnering with local groups means that we avoid the costs, and risks, of having aid workers deployed around the world. Working with local people means that we can support local methods, culturally relevant solutions, and ensure that empowerment and independence are by-products of every project funded.

ACWW Project 973, Mongolian Poly-Tunnels

Donations are the lifeblood of ACWW

ACWW's Membership comes together every three years for the Triennial World Conference. This week-long event is the opportunity to vote on and pass new policies, elect the Board of Trustees, and appoint volunteers to the Specified Committees. It also allows members to renew friendships, and meet many new people from all over the world. The photo above shows the 640 delegates to the 28th Triennial World Conference, held at the University of Warwick, in the UK.

The Resolutions and Recommendations passed at each Triennial World Conference become the foundations of our policy, and are the mandates for ACWW member societies to act on in the three years ahead. Over the years, we have passed ground-breaking policy resolutions, including those on Female Genital Mutilation (1998 and 2013), Breast Feeding (1977), and support for the United Nations and its Agencies (1947).

We are proud to have held Consultative Status with the United Nations since 1947, as well as with its associated and supporting agencies such as the Food & Agriculture Organisation and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). We believe that international collaboration, and the forum for high level discourse are crucial. At every opportunity, we take the opportunity to advocate for our members, and ensure that the voices of rural women are heard at the international as well as national and local levels.