A Rich History
In 1887 Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton met in England and determined, with their friends in Europe, that an international organization that brought women together from around the world to work on issues of common concern was essential to progress. This began the process of establishing both the National Council of Women of the US and the International Council of Women on 31 March of 1888.
Hotly debated and revolutionary for its time, the new organization was to bring disparate women’s organizations together to create both a national and an international women’s movement. Many of those first organizations have either disbanded, evolved or merged into other organizations, but the Council continues its rich tradition of offering an opportunity for national women’s organizations to work together, supporting projects of service and advocacy with a strong voice. At its side is the International Council of Women, with affiliates in 70 countries.
To learn more. . .
In 1988, the New York Public Library, in collaboration with University Microfilms Incorporated, compiled all the available records, including minutes of meetings and correspondence of the Council and archived the documents in its microfilms/microfiche library. Click here to access the records. http://archives.nypl.org/uploads/collection/pdf_finding_aid/ncwus.pdf
Founded in 1888, The National Council of Women is the oldest, non-sectarian volunteer organization of women in America, with roots that date back to the anti-slavery movement. Our founders include a who’s who of America’s most notable women:
Susan B. Anthony, whose likeness appears on the American silver dollar.
Clara Barton, who founded the American Red Cross
Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic
Sojourner Truth, who was the first black female suffragette
After working to abolish slavery, founding members focused on ending child labor, improving workplace conditions and women’s suffrage. Today, the council works for the education, participation and advancement of women to make equality a national obligation.
In Her Own Words: Susan B. Anthony – Text of Susan B. Anthony’s famous 1873 speech
1898 History and Meeting Minutes – Transcript of the council’s 1898 meeting
A Convention of Women – New York Times, February 1895
The Progressive Woman – New York Times, February 1985