women's clubs

women's clubs,

groups that offer social, recreational, and cultural activities for adult females. Particularly strong in the United States, they became an important part of American town and village life in the latter part of the 19th cent. One of the earliest clubs was Sorosis, organized (1868) in New York City. In 1890 a convention called in New York by Sorosis resulted in the General Federation of Women's Clubs. The federation presently includes 250,000 members in 6,500 clubs in the United States, and one million total members in 20 countries. The entry of women into public life has been reflected in the programs of their clubs, which show an increasing interest in questions of social welfare and international concern. Many town libraries, later supported by taxes, were started by women's clubs, and many health and welfare reforms have been initiated by them. The feminist movement also influenced women's clubs, especially by spurring the establishment of groups such as the National Organization for WomenNational Organization for Women
(NOW), group founded (1966) to support "full equality for women in America in a truly equal partnership with men." Its founder and first president was feminist leader Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique (1963).
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 (founded 1966), which are explicitly devoted to the expansion of women's rights.


See K. Blair, History of American Women's Organizations (1988); M. Houdi, Reaching Out: The Story of the GFWC (1989).

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References in classic literature ?
This takes me before churches, Sunday-schools, Christian Endeavour Societies, and men's and women's clubs. When doing this I sometimes speak before as many as four organizations in a single day.
Photographers snapped him, he was besieged by reporters, women's clubs throughout the land passed resolutions condemning him and his immoral theories; and on the floor of the California Assembly, while discussing the state appropriation to the University, a motion demanding the expulsion of Gluck was made under threat of withholding the appropriation--of course, none of his persecutors had read the book; the twisted newspaper version of only three lines of it was enough for them.
On the door hung a heavy brass knocker, an innovation introduced into the village by Helen White's mother, who had also organized a women's club for the study of po- etry.
The General Federation of Women's Clubs Illinois is celebrating its 125th anniversary and has asked all clubs to do a service project that revolves around "125."
Established in 1928, the Junior Woman's Club of Raleigh is a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, the world's oldest nonpartisan women's volunteer service organization.
Aside from the Philippines, Turkey is making a bid as the FIVB is inclined to hold the World Women's Clubs in Asia.
Former past president of the SWC Brenda Ware read an article about Boatsie's Boxes in a national General Federation of Women's Clubs magazine and thought it was a good idea for the SWC to do.
When historian Karen Blair approached us about the possibility of Frontiers producing a special issue on women's clubs in the United States and around the globe, we were immediately interested.
The General Presidency of Sport and Youth Welfare, which provides licenses to men's sports clubs, does not do the same for women's clubs. No other government department has the authority to give licenses to establish women's clubs.
In fact, women's clubs became vital components of the social fabric of black Ithacan life.
Women's clubs shifted from a focus on personal improvement to a focus on social reform, from "education for self to education for service" (Martin 1987, 4).
THE Liverpool & District Association of Women's Clubs held a Breast Cancer Awareness event in Calderstones Park on Sunday October 22.

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