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Our Roots: History and Strength in Advocacy


Throughout history, the progress of events and people has been marked by symbols. The Emblem of NFBPWC was adopted at the 1921 National Convention and incorporates a variety of symbols to represent light, peace, communication, achievement and progress - elements to which our Federation is dedicated.

The Nike depicts strength, progress, freedom and triumph, facing squarely the winds and waves of prejudice and all other limitations. The Torch is the symbol of light, wisdom, principle and leadership. The Wand symbolizes a new day for women and represents opportunity, equality, harmony, cooperation, healing and power. The Ship of Commerce is a symbol of the entrance of women into business and the expansion of opportunities for women. The Scroll represents achievement and leadership, a record of accomplishments in solving economic problems and establishing equality for working women. These five symbols are found within the Golden Circle, signifying unbroken harmony and endless friendship.

The National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs (NFBPWC) was founded by Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips in 1919 and the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW also known as BPW International) was founded in 1930. BPW International has become one of the most influential international networks of business and professional women with affiliates in over 100 countries on  five continents. BPW has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and participatory status with the Council of Europe. Its members include influential women leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, professionals and young career women.

The root of BPW’s advocacy is embedded in the work with the United Nations. BPW lobbied for the formation of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and supported many women’s issues. BPW was awarded a Peace Messenger Certificate from UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar in 1987. Esther Hymer, BPW representative at the UN, was named as one of three women playing a significant role in the work of the UN Commission by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1997.

Today, BPW continues its representation at UN Headquarters in New York, Vienna, Geneva; UN regional offices (UNECA, UNECE, UNESCAP, UNESCWA, UNECLAC); UNESCO, UNICEF, ILO, WHO, UNCTAD, UNIDO, FAO, UN DPI; Council of Europe; European Women’s Lobby and continues to work closely with UNIFEM.

To learn more about the International Federation of Business and Professional Women, click:  www.bpw-international.org

Equal Participation of Women and Men in Power and Decision-Making Roles

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NFBPWC is a national organization with membership across the United States acting locally, nationally and globally. NFBPWC is not affiliated with BPW/USA Foundation.

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