Brief Herstory of the IAW

In 1902, the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Legal Citizenship was founded by leading American suffragists at a meeting in Washington attended by women from eleven countries.

A second meeting in Berlin, in 1904 formally constituted the organization under the name International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA) and this met regularly until the outbreak of war in 1914.

At the Congress of 1926 in Paris the name was changed to International Women’s Alliance, and a strong link with the League of Nations was established.

In 1946 the present name was adopted with the sub-title Equal Rights – Equal Responsibilities.

In 1915, individual members of IWSA from warring countries had met in the Hague and were instrumental in setting up what has become another highly regarded sister organisation, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Read more in the International Women's News Centenary Edition.

Our Banner

In its early days the IWSA held a competition for a design for a banner which was won by the Swedish affiliate, Frederika Bremer Forbundet with a design created and crafted by Licium, an enterprise still in existence. At the Congress in Stockholm in 1911 the banner was presented to the President, Mrs Carrie Chapman Catt, and it has since been displayed at every Congress.

On a facing of ecclesiastical brocade the sun-burst design is embroidered in silk thread, and in metal thread of gold, silver and platinum.

The back of the banner is embroidered with the following verse:

Translation: Edith Anrep