Vision Mission Values Our Vision Our Vision To improve conditions of life
for women, families and communities
Our Mission Our Mission To empower all women to work together
toward improving the quality of life for
women, families, and society through a forum
of member organization and individuals
Our Values Our Values Slide Helen Saravanamuttoo & Adele Muldoon
of the Ottawa Council of Women
on the Walk for Justice on Parliament Hill
Photo by: Anne Minh-Thu Quach, MP WORKING TOGETHER
Slide MAKES A DIFFERENCE Advocate for women's and community issues Fund important projects and keep NCWC sustainable Join Us



The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) was founded on October 27, 1893, by Lady Aberdeen, Ishbel Maria Hamilton-Gordon, Marchioness of Aberdeen and Temair, GBE, wife of the Governor-General of Canada.

Throughout its history, the Council has been concerned with the welfare and improvement of the conditions of life for women, the family, and the community since its founding.

The Council is a vibrant, pro-active, credible organization of women reflecting the diversity of society, encouraging informed political decision-making and public attitudes for the well-being of society, through research, education, consultation and cooperation.

NCWC was designated by the Government of Canada as being of  historical significance for its role in Canadian women’s history.  

Today, NCWC is comprised of Local Councils of Women and Study Groups in 12 Canadian cities, Provincial Councils of Women in 6 Canadian provinces, Study Groups in one Canadian province and 11 affiliated National Organizations.


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NCWC’s Work

The strength of the National Council of Women of Canada’s work comes from a broadly based network of organizations affiliated with its local and provincial councils, and affiliates of the NCWC.  It is their representatives who research and debate proposals for change and develop the resolutions, which the NCWC presents to government. When these resolutions are approved at the national level, they represent the consensus of many thousands of women.
Today the NCWC continues to be concerned with a wide range of issues involving women, the family, the community, and the state. It has inevitably been affected by recent trends in Canadian society such as the increased movement of women into the workforce, the growing importance of the media, the technology of instant communication, and the development of single-interest advocacy groups. Its role in the next few decades will be affected by its ability to respond and adapt to these changes while retaining the strength, which comes from local grass roots participation.
Over the years, as the Council’s relationship with government became more formal, the practice developed of presenting an annual brief to the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet. Currently, in addition to this annual brief, the NCWC presents briefs to parliamentary committees and royal commissions and from time to time may be represented on special advisory committees.

NCWC has met formally with the members of the federal Cabinet since 1924. Usually the meetings take place between members of Parliament or senior government officials and members of the Board of Directors of NCWC.  An annual Brief is prepared, based on approved Resolutions, and presented to government and members of the Opposition Parties. Our policies are developed through a grass roots process of consultation and debate. Visit Policy and Briefs to learn more.


Other Highlights

NCWC is a national affiliate member of the International Council of Women (ICW).  It has Consultative Status (Category I) at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).  Visit the ICW Facebook page  to see what other Councils are doing around the world – and contribute news from Canada. See our page on ICW to learn more.
NCWC has Consultative Status (Category II) at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).  Each year we send a delegation to the meetings of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March.  View Reports to NCWC on CSW and our page on ICW to learn more.
We continually develop new policy on various issues and update old policy.  Each year we send our Annual Brief to the Government, meet with MPs and Senators at various times throughout the year, and often appear as Witnesses before Standing Committees.
You can exchange ideas with us and send comments about current issues in NCWC’s Facebook Blog.
NCWC has two separate organizations with charitable status for Fundraising, the NCWC Education Fund and the NCWC Development Organization (NCWCDO). The NCWC Education Fund is a major source of the ongoing research and education work of Council.  It supports the operation of NCWC.  Much of its current work is described in the Major Project section.  The NCWCDO raises funds for international development projects which focuses on women. The very important project work done by both the NCWC Education Fund and the NCWCDO benefits immensely from your financial donations.  The NCWCDO funds small projects doing international development.
Online donations can be made to both these funds: donate to NCWC Education Fund and/or donate to NCWCDO.  You will receive a charitable receipt.
To learn about what NCWC Councils across the country are currently doing, read the NCWC Newsletters.  
For the history of NCWC, there are two books that we recommend:

Proud Heritage. Rosa Shaw. Ryerson Press, and

The Splendid Vision, a Centennial History of the National Council of Women of Canada, Naomi Griffiths, Carlton Press, 1993.  See excerpts from The Splendid Vision, a Centennial History of the National Council of Women of Canada.  These excerpts are interesting stories of early Council history, and will be changed regularly.


If you would like to join an organization for women that continues to make a difference, contact us or contact a Council of Women in your area.  The persons to contact are listed in Members