New to the Women’s Institute?

The first Women’s Institute was started in Ontario in 1897. Mrs. Alma Jane Porter from Andover, New Brunswick organized the first Women’s Institute in New Brunswick in 1911.

The Women’s Institute was organized to meet the needs of rural women and to allow them to discuss the problems in their community and possible solutions. In the early days women did not have the vote. They were not “persons” and they often had to speak with one voice to be heard.

The NBWI’s membership still includes rural women, but they are rural women with a difference. While many NBWI members are still homemakers, they are also working and professional women. They still have concerns about the quality of their life and community, but they have more influence individually and collectively to influence future events and make positive changes to the laws of the province.