National Council of Women in the Philippines

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National Council of Women in the Philippines (NCWP) was founded in 1946. It is one of the lead monitoring arm of non-governmental organizations (NGO) for the effective implementation of corporate social responsibility and poverty reduction. Health, environment, economy, globalization and womem in power and decision making are the organization's areas of concern. Its aim is to develop the capability of national women's organizations and councils of women nationwide in order for them to become effective agents of development. It is an institution with a sense of unity, mission, and a dedication to uplift the status of women in society and to undertake a positive role in nation building.

It has a membership of 252 national affiliates and more than 5,000 councils from all over the country, including small municipalities; participating in international conferences and other global forums, and receiving international aid for the implementation of its numerous projects. The women behind the triumph of NCWP comprise a formidable roster of professional career women from business, the academe, NGO's, rural women and other sectors.



During the term of president Manuel Roxas in 1946, he made an official declaration on recognizing the vital role of women and their role in the reconstruction and development of the nation after World War II. Mrs. Francisca Tirona-Benitez, distinguished educator, humanitarian and civic leader was appointed by President Roxas to ensure that women would cooperate and participate in the July 4 Independence Day celebration. She initiated meeting with various women's groups to determine effective strategies in ensuring women's active involovement in the event. She also the First Women's Assembly held at the Far Eastern University.

During that time, the need for a stronger and united organization was felt to ensure coordinatioan and consolidation of women's efforts. It was then that they band themselves into a coalition called (WCA), which advocates service above self, virtue, industry and patriotism. The coalition was supported by various women's associations which became the WCA Charte Affiliate Organizations. The Philippine Women's University (PWU) is the assembly's permanent headquarters. In 1949, Professor Geronima Pecson was elected as the next president of WCA. She served until 1950 and it was also during this time that the name WCA was changed to Civic Assembly of Women of the Philippines (CAWP). Pecson was also the first woman senator.

International Recognition

CAWP gained international recognition during the International Council of Women (ICW) in 1957, defining the merit and international status of the Filipino women's group. The organization became the key player in the advancement of Filipino women through its participation in national and international events and initiatives including crusades for peace and justice, and civic work for poor families and disadvantaged women.

Past Presidents

The past presidents has been instrumental in sustaining organizational operations and establishing international recognition.

Past Presidents
Asuncion A. Perez 1951-1953
Trinidad F. Legarda 1953-1955
Dr. Helena Z. Benitez 1955-1961
Dr. Belen E. Gutierrez 1961-1965
Atty. Josefina P. Ambrocio 1965-1969
Dr. Leticia de Guzman 1969-1973
Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma 1973-1977
Atty. Carolina Baza Salazar 1977-1981
Dr. Minerva Laudico 1981-1985
Julieta Benedicto 1985-1986
Dr. Trinidad A. Gomez 1986-1989
Esther A. Vibal 1989-1991
Justice Leonor I. Luciano 1991-1993
Nona S. Ricafort 1993-1997
Justice Regina O. Benitez 1997-1999
Commissioner Myrna T. Yao 1999


In the 70's, two significant accomplishements added laurels to the CAWP. The first was its success in advocating for the creation of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW). Dr. Leticia P. de Guzman was appointed as its Executive Director. The second was the key role played by the CAWP iin the establishement of the Asean Confederation of Women's Organization (ACWO), a regional network of national councils of women in Asia.

CAWP decided to to venture into direct project implementation. A one million-peso grant was awarded by the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) to finance the start of its livelihood and cooperative program. Another major change took place when Mrs. Esther Vibal prpposeed for a change of its name. The change was proposed in order to align its identity with other national councils affililated with the ICW and ACWO where CAW was an active member. From CAWP, it is now called the National Council of Women of the Philippines (NCWP).

NCWP focused on conducting a series of National Provincial Women's Summit, National Youth Summit to provide the venue for enhancing women and youth particiaption inimplementing its platform of action. NCWP also started the celebration of Rural Women's day highlighting women's active participation in food production.

NCWP was also able to operationalize the NCWP Women and Youth Development Center through partnership with Ginituang at Makabayang Alay sa Bayan Foundation.


  • OnlineWomen: Philippines. (accessed on January 17, 2008)
  • National Council of Women in the Philippines: 88DB Service Portal. (accessed on January 17, 2008)
  • Leonarda N. Camacho, National Council Women of the Philippines. 100 Centennial Celebration - Feminist Movement in the Philippines 1905- 2005. Quezon City: Vibal Publishing House, Inc., 2005.
  • Directory of Non-Government Organizations Working on Women. San Miguel, Manila: National Commission on the Role of Filipno Women, 2003.



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