The Women's Institute (WI) is a membership organisation for women in Britain.

Table of contents
1 Organisation and Membership
2 Activities
3 History
4 Official Anthem
5 External Links
6 See Also

Organisation and Membership

Individual Women's Institutes are self-governing and serve particular towns or districts. They are grouped into 70 county and island federations. Both the individual WIs and the regional federations are members of the National Federation of Women's Institutes. In 2003 approximately 220,000 women were members of the WI.


WI members take part in local programs that may include sport, drama, education, cooking and community projects, in addition to campaigning on matters of local, national and international importance including domestic violence, oil pollution, and Aids.


The WI was founded in Britain in 1915, due to World War I inspired by the Canadian Women's Institute, and backed by the Government's Board of Agriculture, with the belief that the WI could play an important role in the countryside, particularly in domestic science and the production and preserving of food. The first meeting of a British WI took place in Llanfairpwll, Wales, on Wednesday June 16, 1915.

Encouraged by the Ministry of Agriculture, the WIs also played a similar role in the production of foods during World War II. The reputation that the WI earned as makers of jam and the bottlers of fruit persists to the present day, though is now hardly typical.

Official Anthem

The WI adopted Jerusalem as their official anthem in the 1920s.

External Links

See Also