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About us

The Women's Institute (WI) was formed in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War.

Since then our aims have broadened and we are now the largest voluntary women's organisation in the UK. We celebrated our centenary in 2015 and currently have around 190,000 members in approximately 6,000 WIs.

We play a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.


The National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) is a national charity set up to represent all WI members and provide guidance and support to federations and WIs.