In a century that has seen the role of women in both domestic and public life change irrevocably, the role of the Women's Institute in effecting change has often gone unappreciated.
From the barracking of Tony Blair at their AGM in 2000, through the extraordinary story of the WI Calendar Girls, and after a hundred years of campaigning and solidarity, the WI is enjoying a resurgence in popularity among younger city-dwelling women, while remaining firmly rooted in its rural origins.
Women's Century celebrates the WI's centenary in 2015, calling attention to the indispensable role it has played in the development of women's rights. From its establishment in a 1915 Britain suffering the rigours of war in Europe, the WI has become the UK's most popular women's organisation, playing a crucial role in encouraging women's education and equal pay, prison reform and, more recently, AIDS awareness and fair trade.
Focusing on powerful images of the WI and its work, with a foreword by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and preface by Julie Summers, the book tells its story to a new generation of men and women, whose forebears 100 years ago could never have imagined the force their fledgling new organisation would become.
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