Set up in 1915 to encourage women to grow their own vegetables in order to aid the nation on the home front, the WI has over its 100-year history fought for women’s rights and for changes to the law. The WI is also famed for its crucial role during the Second World War, when its 350,000 members helped to feed a hungry nation.
Here, we take a look at the history of the WI in pictures…
Penrhyn Women’s Institute, St Ann’s, 31 May 1923. (From LSE Library’s collections, 5FWI/B/2/2/04/001)
Ladies of the Women’s Institute in Brimpton make jam to sell to local grocers, 15 September 1941. (Photo by Fred Morley/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Members of a Women’s Institute choir singing on 27 June 1953. Original Publication: Picture Post – 6557 – The W.I. – published 1953. (Photo by Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Members of the Women’s Institute manning a West Country produce stall, 1922. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Members of the Women’s Institute exchange agricultural goods, c1940. (Photo by Val Doone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Members of the Preston and Langley Women’s Institute watch Lady Cranbrook re-enact the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 27 June 1953. Original publication: Picture Post – 6557 – The W.I. – published 1953 (Photo by Kurt Hutton/Ronald Startup/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Women’s Institute, West Sussex, late 1920s. (From LSE Library’s collections, 5FWI/B/2/2/04/002)
Members of the Women’’s Institute selling home produce on stalls at Malton, Yorkshire. Photograph shows Lady Worsley (middle left) serving a pound of potatoes, c1942. (Photo by Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer/ IWM via Getty Images)
A tableau given by Blackwood Women’s Institute at a garden fete held in Abergaveny, 9 June 1937. The theme was the Empire. (Photo by Carr/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Two members of the Women’s Institute in Llanferres waiting for a meeting called to discuss the sale of shoddy goods that easily break or wear out too quickly, 24 July 1948. Original Publication: Picture Post – 4588 – It’s Time This Shoddiness Ended – published 1948. (Photo by Raymond Kleboe/Picture Post/Getty Images)
Miss B A Crang of Long Ashton Research centre lecturing members of the Women’s Institute in Monmouthshire on methods of fruit and vegetable canning, bottling and drying, and jam and jelly making, 24 May 1940:. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
To find out more about the Women’s Institute, visit www.thewi.org.uk.