In 1893, Lady Aberdeen, President of the International Council of Women (ICW), founded the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) and the Montreal Council of Women (MCW). The organisation’s focus at that time was on improving all aspects of the lives of Montreal’s women, their families and the community by better hospitals, improved working conditions, better maternal and child care. MCW, as a non-partisan coalition of organizations and individual members and continues to play an important role as a voice for all women in Montreal and the surrounding areas. The MCW is a vibrant, pro-active, council of women reflecting the diversity of society, encouraging informed political decision making and public attitudes for the well-being of society, through education, consultation and cooperation. MCW strives to empower all women to work together towards improving the quality of life for women, families and society through the forum of its membership of autonomous federated societies and individuals. Acting as a catalyst for its members, MCW advocates improvement of social conditions and responds on issues that Canadians face as citizens.
MCW is affiliated with the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) a self-funded non-governmental organization (NGO). Founded in 1893, it was subsequently incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1914, and given national historic significance status on April 30th, 2001 by the Government of Canada for its role in Canadian women's history. Since 1893 NCWC has been working to improve the lives of women, children and communities in Canada. Today there are Local Councils of Women and Study Groups in 20 Canadian cities and Provincial Councils of Women in 6 Canadian provinces, along with 27 National organizations affiliated with NCWC. NCWC is a member of the International Council of Women (ICW), which represents the National Councils of Women in more than 70 countries. NCWC has accreditation with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and regularly attends meetings of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
MCW is also affiliated with the Provincial Council of Women of Quebec (PCWQ) which was formed in 1999 as a non-partisan coalition of women working together to improve the well-being of women, their families, and Québec society.
From 1893, the year the club was founded, until 1900, the Council was directed by the President, and from 1900 to 1909 the Council was directed by presidential boards. In 1909, the decision was made to again give the Chairman of the Board the title of President, a practice that continues today.
Please click here to see the list of the Presidential Boards and the Presidents who have directed MCW since its inception in 1893.