IFUW is an international network linking women graduates
from all cultures,
all fields of study,
all professions and
Our 79 national affiliates and members are present in more than 120 countriesWhy do we exist?
We were founded in 1919 after World War I by women graduates who believed in the importance of working together for peace, international understanding and friendship.
Today our mission is to:
- promote lifelong education for women and girls;
- promote international cooperation, friendship, peace and respect for human rights for all, irrespective of their gender, age, race, nationality, religion, political opinion, gender and sexual orientation or other status;
- advocate for the advancement of the status of women and girls; and
encourage and enable women and girls to apply their knowledge and skills in leadership and decision-making in all forms of public and private life.
- We provide a global voice for women graduates, working for the adoption and implementation of international agreements that will protect and benefit all women and girls
Our members volunteer their expertise in a wide-range of community projects, for example
- literacy and vocational training programmes
free medical and legal clinics
programmes to prevent domestic violence
campaigns to increase women''''s awareness of their rights and to promote women''''s participation in the political process
Our conferences, seminars and workshops offer
opportunities to discuss global issues from an interdisciplinary perspective
Over Eighty-five Years of Achievement
When Dean Virginia Gildersleeve, Professor Caroline Spurgeon and Rose Sidgewick sat together in 1918 and conceived the idea of a worldwide organization uniting university women, they were convinced that by fostering friendship and understanding, women graduates could help prevent another catastrophe such as the world war that had just ended. Their dream became reality the next year when university women from Great Britain, Canada and the United States met to lay the foundation for IFUW. Over eighty years later, more than 170,000 women graduates throughout the world share the same principles and vision that inspired those early leaders.