Today the WCTU is the oldest voluntary, non-sectarian woman's organization in continuous existence in the world.


The WCTU is a founding member (1888) of the National Council for Women (Frances Willard was its first president) and the International Council of Women in 1893. It is also a charter member (1945) of the United Nations Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO). For almost 125 years the WCTU has trained women to think on their feet, speak in public, and run an organization.


For over 100 years the WCTU has been conducting training seminars for teachers and others interested in alcohol tobacco, and drug education. Today the WCTU is still concerned that the wide availability of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs combines with other social problems to the detriment of society.

The WCTU has proposed, supported, and helped establish:


  • protection of women and children at home and work
  • women's right to vote
  • shelters for abused women and children
  • the eight-hour work day
  • equal pay for equal work
  • founding of kindergartens
  • assistance in founding of the PTA
  • federal aid for education
  • stiffer penalties for sexual crimes against girls and women
  • uniform marriage and divorce laws
  • dress reform
  • travelers' aid
  • prison reform and police matrons
  • women police officers
  • homes and education for wayward girls
  • promotion of nutrition
  • pure food and drug act
  • legal aid
  • labor's right to organize
  • passive demonstrations and world peace


The WCTU has opposed and worked against:


  • the drug traffic
  • the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
  • white slavery
  • child labor
  • army brothels