All India Women’s Conference: AIWC History and Initiatives

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All India Women’s Conference

The All India Women’s Conference is an organization primarily dedicated to improving women’s education and social development in India. It is one of the oldest women’s organizations, with over a hundred branches located across the country. The AIWC members are continuously striving to work on diverse issues such as education, economic independence, development, and so on. Over the years, the AIWC has gained Observer Status with UNFCCC and Consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC). 

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History of AIWC

  • The All India Women’s Conference was established in January 1927 in the Indian state of Poona, Maharashtra.
  • However, the idea emerged in 1926 after an Irish theosophist and feminist Margaret Cousins suggested the same.
  • A decade earlier, somewhere in 1917, Cousins had also helped establish the Women’s Indian Association in Madras (now Chennai), one of India’s first feminist groups. It was followed by the establishment of multiple such associations. 
  • Concerned about the plethora of issues being faced by women, Cousins wrote an appeal to members of women’s associations located across the country. 
  • Moreover, they also urged members to attend a specific conference in Poona. 
  • In January 1927, members of regional meetings gathered in Poona for the first official meeting of the AIWC.

Also Read: The First Round Table Conference, 1930-32

All India Women’s Conferences 

Below we have mentioned key points of the first and second conferences held by the AIWC. 

First Conference

  • The first All India Women’s Conference was held from 5 to 8 January 1927 at Ferguson College, Poona.
  • The conference was held under the presidency of Maharani Chimnabai Saheb Gaekwar of Baroda.
  • The key resolutions passed during this conference include different topics ranging from the abolition of child marriage to the promotion of education in primary schools as well as colleges.
  • Additionally, it also passed a resolution that extended support to Sir Hari Singh Gaur’s Age of Consent Bill. 
Mrs Magaret Cousins

Also Read: Second Round Table Conference: Participants, Consequences

Second Conference

  • The second Conference was in the year 1928 in Delhi. 
  • It was attended by over 200 delegates from 30 different constituencies around India. 
  • The President for this session was Her Highness the Begum Mother of Bhopal. 
  • According to the members of the Conference, the aim behind establishing the All India Women’s Fund was to “serve not only for propaganda but also for starting of institutions based on the ideals of the Conference”.
  • Apart from focusing on compulsory primary education for girls, the AIWC also prioritized differential treatment of Depressed Class Children during its second conference. 

Also Read: Indira Gandhi: Know All About the First Woman Prime Minister of India

Initiatives for a Better Future

  • During the 21st century, the All India Women’s Conference undertook a range of activities aimed at improving women’s access to education.
  • It also came up with numerous strategies to increase active women’s participation in the workforce, raise public awareness, and provide leadership training.
  • Other areas of prominence include eradicating trafficking of women and children, disaster relief, women’s labour, and the development of rural energy. 
  • In addition to this, the All India Women’s Conference took the initiative to provide women citizens with in-depth knowledge about basic computing, textile weaving, and other fields.  
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Institutions Founded by AIWC

The All India Women’s Conference also established a number of institutions including:

  • All India Women’s Education Fund Association (1929)
  • Lady Irwin College (1932)
  • Family Planning Centre (now Family Planning Association of India) (1937)
  • Save the Children Committee (1943)
  • Cancer Research Institute (1952)

FAQs

What are the functions of the All India Women’s Conference?

Members of the All India Women’s Conference are actively involved in improving the quality of women’s working conditions. Additionally, they formulate strategies and take the necessary steps toward eradicating evil practices such as child marriage and advocating the rights of women.

Which college in Delhi was started by the initiative of the All India Women’s Conference?

The AIWC established Lady Irwin College located in New Delhi in the year 1932. It was India’s first College of Home Sciences for Women. 

What is the All India Women’s Conference 1927?

The All India Women’s Conference was established in 1927 as a non-governmental organization based in Delhi. Founded by Margaret Cousins, the organization aimed at advocating the rights of women, promoting compulsory education, and abolishing the common practice of child marriage in Indian society. 

Development of Railways in India August Declaration of 1917
Indian Press Act of 1910 Ahmedabad Mill Strike of 1918
C.R. Formula of 1944 Cabinet Mission of 1946

That’s all about the All India Women’s Conference! If you want to read more articles like this, you can get Study notes on the Modern History of India here. Also, you can visit our general knowledge page on Indian History!

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