Since the late 1800s, Women’s clubs all over the county were used to as a platform for social Activism during the Progressive Era. During the Early 20th century, some groups supported the suffrage movement for women to gain the right to vote. By the 1930s, clubs formed for different interests such as sewing and literature. By `1955, membership peaked 16,000 clubs and over 850,000 members. Now membership is at less than 100,000 members.
Reasons why club memberships are declining are because more women are working during the average time that these organizations have meetings, and having a hard time attracting younger members. As members get older, there are less and less younger people to fill those memberships. Sadly if new member do not join these groups, in a few years these groups will disappear.
Can we Save Womens Clubs?
I went to a women’s group in my community today and they happen to be celebrating their 75thanniversary. I so happen to be sitting next to two of the former club presidents. They told me that of the many women‘s club in my county they were only one of Two of the club left in the county. They went from 150 members over 50 years ago to less than 50 members now. Now with the creation of websites such as meetup.com, there are group for everything you can imagine, but the last thing I want to see are these women’s club to go extinct. These groups form friendships, get to know your neighbors and neighborhoods, and help the community.
If there is one thing I can encourage the women who are reading this article, look and see if you have one of these women’s clubs in your community and look into becoming a member. You will never know of the friendships and memories you can form.