IN THE EARLY DAYS of the Women's League (WL), the organization was actively involved in providing social services. The League organized an employment agency, began early work in the prison reform movement, and donated food and clothes to refugees. The WL did the pioneering work for the maternity center, which was later taken over by AUBMC, and the WL established a mother's club to educate and enlighten families about hygiene and child care. The League also established the Bargain Box and was involved in much fundraising for needy families. The Women's Auxiliary also grew out of the Women's League.
Early on the Women's League was quite involved not only with social reform but with rallying around political issues. In the late 1940s and in the '50s the League became much more focused on socializing activities and international relations. The WL welcomed new faculty wives to AUB and provided contact and guidance to newcomers in all of Beirut. Many activities were organized to
provide a circle of friendship and support to members of the League. The League's activities since the 1950s have mainly been educational and cultural.
From a membership of eight when the League was formed, the WL grew to 300 members in the mid-1970s. However, during the civil war, membership and activity level dwindled and the WL was kept active by a few determined women, many of whom are still dedicated League members. Currently the League has around 130 active members and membership has been growing steadily the last few years.
Since establishment of the Women's League, WL members have consistently maintained records of League activities. An encompassing file exists and was formerly housed in AUB's Jafet Library archives. During the war, files were removed from the library and housed with various members. One of our current projects is to assemble the files and we hope that, in the near future, the Women's League archives will again be housed in Jafet Library.
WOMEN'S LEAGUE AFFILIATIONS
- Women's International Club in Lebanon. The current president has also been president of the Women's League. The International Club is engaged in social and cultural events.
- The Lebanese Mother and Child Welfare Association was founded 60 years ago.
- Welcome Clubs International is an international organization of about 25 women's clubs in various countries all over the world. Every spring executive committee members get together for a conference to share information and develop links between clubs. In June 2005 our Women’s League became members of this organization.