The International Alliance of Women (IAW) is an international NGO comprising 41 member organizations involved in the promotion of women’s human rights, of equality and of the empowerment of women . The IAW has general consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council and is accredited to many specialized UN agencies, has participatory status with the Council of Europe and is represented at the Arab League, the African Union and other international organizations.
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), which became the preeminent international women’s suffrage organization. The organization adopted yellow as its colour, the colour used by American suffragists since 1867 and derived from the color of the sunflower. The organization had to temporarily cease its operations as a result of the First World War.
At the Congress of 1926 in Paris the name was changed to International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship, and a strong link with the League of Nations was established.
In 1946 the present name, International Alliance of Women, was adopted with the sub title Equal Rights – Equal Responsibilities. Since 1947, the IAW has had general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and was one of the first organizations to be granted this status.
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