Reference Work Entry

International Encyclopedia of Civil Society

pp 1665-1665

World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union

  • Thomas DaviesAffiliated withUniversity of HeidelbergCity University

Address of Organization

Rygjehaugvn. 13 4265 Haavik Terrasse Karmøy Norway www.​wwctu.​com


One of the oldest international women's organizations, the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WWCTU) has played an important historical role in the promotion of wider objectives such as peace and women's suffrage in addition to temperance. It currently boasts “approximately forty” national branches, and its peak dues-paying membership was 766,000 in 1927.

Brief History

The WWCTU was conceived in 1883 by Frances Willard, president of the national Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in the United States, which (having been founded in 1874) describes itself as “the oldest continuing nonsectarian woman's organization in the world.” The world organization was designed to confront what was perceived as a transnational problem of alcohol and other drug use, and its first world convention took place in Boston in 1891.


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