By International Social Service, the Global Social Work Organization
ISS - 100 Years : Happy International Women's Day 2024

Happy International Women’s Day 2024

In the early 20th century, the world was grappling with the aftermath of the Great War and the complexities of international affairs. Amidst this backdrop, many women found themselves facing daunting challenges in breaking into the realm of global governance and organizations. Societal norms and institutional barriers often confined them to the sidelines, limiting their participation.

Yet, despite these obstacles, there existed a silent force of remarkable women who left their mark on history. Among them were unsung heroes whose contributions echoed through the corridors of power, even if their names were scarcely whispered. In the heart of this era stood the International social Service (ISS), a beacon of hope amidst the tumult of shifting borders and displaced populations. As this organization took its nascent steps in 1924, women, played remarkable avant-garde roles.

Some of ISS women worked tirelessly in administrative capacities, ensuring the smooth functioning and expansion of the ISS operations, others delved into research, unravelling the intricate web of migration patterns and human displacement. All of them turned pioneer advocates, raising their voices in support of the displaced, among them children.

ISS women teamed up with like-minded social reformers to champion their ideals and their cause in the face of adversity. This fellowship of visionary women, whose ambition and resolve transcended political borders and social boundaries, were activists, negotiators, social workers, navigating the tumultuous waters of social change and international diplomacy.

The spirit of these trailblazing women lives on. Their vision and ambition are still carried on today with diligence and humility by hundreds of ISS staff and volunteers, and will prevail for generations to come.

For the record, for history and the tapestry of human endeavour, our founding women’s contributions remain today weaving stories of pioneering change, resilience, courage, and unwavering determination.

Happy Women’s Day, today and every day!


ISS, the Global Social Work Organization

ISS is present in more than 120 countries, constituting a well-connected network of NGOs, authorities and private social work practices. The ISS global network is coordinated by the ISS General Secretariat in Geneva.
Meet our Members and Members to Be.


Members ad interim
  • Albania
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia


Members ad interim
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Uruguay


Members ad interim
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea Conakry
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Ivory Coast
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe

Asia & Oceania

Members ad interim
  • Afghanistan
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Laos
  • Mongolia
  • Palestine
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Vietnam

International Social Service - West Africa Office

BP 16 603
Dakara, Fann 10 760
Tel:(+221) 33 860 17 44

Asia-Pacific Regional Office (APRO)

International Social Service Hong Kong Branch
6/F, Southorn Centre,
130 Hennessy Road,
Wan Chai,
Hong Kong
Tel.: +852 2835 7544
Fax: +852 2834 7627