National Council of
Women of Canada

(NCWC) 1893-2023

An organization of women working together since 1893 advocating for the welfare of women, the family and the community, raising funds for important projects and presenting proposals for change, briefs and resolutions to local, provincial and federal governments.

Welcome Statement from the President

“Greetings to members and friends of the NCWC!”

“In June 2023, I was honored to be inducted as the 38th President of the NCWC during the 130th AGM, held in Saskatoon. It is a privilege to lead this organization, that has a proud history and a rich tradition of empowering all women to work together toward improving the quality of life for women, families, and society.

Our organization was founded in 1893 under the leadership of our founder and patron, Lady Aberdeen and incorporated by an act of Parliament in 1914. As a formidable organization of women, NCWC has played a significant role in many of the milestones in Canadian social history. Their call for enhanced public health measures focused on a safe water supply, that milk be pasteurized, that inner city children’s playgrounds were made safer, and for access to free libraries. They founded the Victorian Order of Nurses, the Children’s Aid Society, and the Consumers’ Association of Canada among others. Their pro-active instructional and educational approach was successful in many areas that have benefited Canadian society. Three members of the Famous Five, who went to court in 1929 to have women recognized as persons, were active in the Council of Women.

Today, it is our obligation, to continue the work of those wonderful women.

So, although our roots are deep, there are still many issues that need to be dealt with across the country. Today, our tradition of improving the future of women, children, families, and communities locally, provincially, nationally, and on the global stage, needs to continue through our advocacy actions. The work of the NCWC has been wide-ranging, and its influence widespread. We continue to promote equal opportunity, pay, rights, and benefits for women in employment, and advocate for fairness, equality, and justice for all. We have added issues like climate change, support for our aboriginal neighbours, the protection of rights in the digital world along with many others.

 The Common Theme chosen at the AGM was “Housing is a Human Right” . We are committed to both studying this issue as well as taking action to help ensure that every Canadian has the housing they need.

On our 100th anniversary, we received our Coat of Arms, and in 2005, the NCWC was recognized as a Canadian ‘Institution’ of historic significance by the Parks Canada Historic Sites and Monuments Board with a plaque installed at the Allen Gardens in Toronto, site of the NCWC’s historic founding meeting in October 1893.

Please consider joining our dynamic organization of outstanding women leaders in our mission to create a more equal, caring, and just society. For further information on membership, or other topics, I invite you to contact me via email

Working together we can do our part to ensure that our planet, and everything on it, will enjoy a peaceful, safe future.

Marianne Wilkinson

President National Council of Women of Canada


Mission, Vision & Values

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 organizations and individuals

Our Vision

Improved condition of life for women, families, and communities

Our Values

Respect, Integrity, Diversity, Community, Gender Equality, Peace, Democracy

Common Program

“Housing is a Human Right”

NCWC Councils, Federates and Individual members are invited to invest energy in our Common Program by raising awareness of and advocating for a response to the housing crisis that disproportionately affects women, gender-diverse, and Indigenous populations. Currently, too many Canadian families and individuals pay more than 30% of their income on rent. These families and individuals are increasingly vulnerable to evictions as tenancy laws favour developers and owners.

The issue touches on all aspects of life, and solutions such as social housing that supports affordable habitable renovation and not-for-profit construction, are desperately needed. Solutions are not ideas alone; they must also be implemented. Of increasing concern is the plight of the urban homeless, who lack access to essential services such as water, sanitation, health care and safety.

Do we have policy on all these issues? Where they are lacking, let’s get to work!

I invite members to share their actions along with any resources you find helpful. A current list along with links to our existing policies can be found in the READ MORE tab. I look forward to hearing from you!

Beryl Matthewson VP of Health and Housing

Latest News

Contact Information:

National Office:

NCWC 130th AGM Report