Sunday, 5 February 2012

About the Women's Institute

The Women's Institute organization provides members with an opportunity to broaden their knowledge and abilites through participation in meetings organized by the local branch.  Women's Institutes in Ontario have helped women improve their homes and communities for many years.  They have flourished in almost every community in Ontario.  The Women's Institute challenges those who seek self-improvement and personal enrichment.  Members belong to a network that connects Branches to Districts and Areas, as well as the provincial, national and international levels of the organization.  Special educational sessions are organized at all levels to encourage members to expand their outlook and to extend their influence as a motivating force in today's world.  Members are encouraged to take a public stand on the broader issues of the day through resolutions and briefs.

The Women's Institute at all levels is an organization for personal growth and community action.
The objectives at all levels are:
a) to assist and encourage women to become more knowledgeable and responsible citizens
b) to promote and develop good family life skills
c) to help discover, stimulate and develop leadership
d) to help identify and resolve needs in the community

The Motto of the Women's Institute shall be "For Home and Country"

Mission Statement
"To better the lives of women and families through personal growth and community action"

Vision Statement
"Working together shaping tomorrow's world"

Origin and Growth of Women's Institute
"Without vision the people perish"
Certainly this idea put forth in 1897 had vision; it was also practical, forthright and a brave venture.  Ontario women had shown interest in lectures given at the Farmers' Institutes as early as 1895.  And while the "Act Respecting Agricultural Societies" provided for the organization of women's groups, as well as Farmers' Institutes, no action was taken at that time.
On February 19th 1897, the first formal organization of a Women's Institute took place in Saltfleet Township in Wentworth County (Stoney Creek) through the combined efforts of Erland Lee and his wife Janet, and with the encouragement of Adelaide Hoodless. 
The Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario was organized on Febuary 6th 1919 to coordinate the work of the Branch Institutes. 
The Federated Women's Institutes of Canada was organized on February 13, 1929 to coordinate the work of the provinces. 
In 1933 the Associated Country Women of the World was officially organized.  This is the international organizationof the Women's Institute and other related woment's organizations.  Its purpose is to further international relations in every way consistent with the aims of the organization.

Today's Aim
The founders of this organization were more forward-thinking than they realized.  All of human kind is closely interconnected in today's rapidly changing world where distances are diminishing and the problems of one nation bear upon others.  Great social and economic problems confront people everywhere.  Today's Women's Institute concern themselves more with these problems than in the past.  The dream of its founders was far-reaching as evidenced by the growth of this organization.