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Letter from the Chair of Open Door: 

The idea of ‘Open Door’ was started in Stockholm in 1980 by Elisabeth Samman. Whilst travelling with her husband, a Rotarian, the hospitality extended to him by fellow Rotarians in foreign cities made such an impression on her that she thought this could help members of International Women’s  Associations have a similar reciprocity in opening their doors to each other when visiting or moving to another country. ‘Open Door’ was established with nine Intl.


Women’s Associations each agreeing to nominate an International Co-ordinator (ICO ) to welcome IWC members of sisterclubs to their own clubs as guests, at monthly meetings and other club activities as well as exchanging newsletters and correspondence. ‘Open Door’ aspires to facilitate and promote  inter-club contact and communication between  International Women’s Associations which are non-political, non-religious and non-commercial and where membership is open to all nationalities. The ‘Open Door’ network is administered by means of a Directory of member associations with club and contact details of Presidents and International Coordinators. 

In this way much is being done to help each other through contact with women of different nations, by promoting mutual understanding, furthering cultural exchanges and cultivating friendships which altogether lead to a richer and broader understanding of each other. Today we are almost 70 clubs around the world, and we are keeping in touch with most of them.  

If you would like more information about how to get your club on the list of Open Door, send an email here! 


Marja van Loopik

Chair Open Door Worldwide



Inc. Canberra
Sydney WIC Inc.
IW Assoc. of Graz
AWA Vienna
IWC Antwerp
WIC Brussels
IWC Brunei
IWC Zagreb
IW Assoc. Of Prague
IWC Copenhagen
IWC Santo Domingo
IWC Helsinki
Bordeaux WC
Landes and Pays Basque International Women’s Club
WIC du Languedoc-Roussillon
WIC Méditerranée
WIC de Paris
IWC Provence
IWC of the Riviera
IWC of the Var
Berlin IWC
Int. Club of Dusseldorf e.V.
IW Group of Franconia
IWC of Frankfurt e.V.
IWC Hamburg eV.
IWC of Leipzig
Ladies Int. Assoc.Munich
Munich IWC
IWC Edinburgh
Humberside IWC
Kent IWC
Hampstead WC
WIC Athens
IWC Budapest
IWC Dublin
IWC of Naples
IWC of Rome
IWC Pristina
IWAV Vilnius
Assoc of IW in Malta
IWC A’dam
IWC Eindhoven
IWC South Limburg
IWC The Hague
IWC Utrecht
IW Soc. Of Lagos
Int. Forum
IWC Oslo
IW Group of Warsaw
IW in Portugal
IW Assoc. Bucharest
Cluj IWC
IWC Bratislava
IWC Cape Town
IWC of Johannisburg
IWC Asturias
Int. Newcomers Club Madrid
IWC Gothenburg
IWC Stockholm
IWC Lucerne
IWC Lugano
IWC Thailand
IW Assoc, Inc.
Int. Friends Club
Int Conn. Houston
Hanoi IWC

Guidelines for International Coordinator (ICO)

Continuity of International Coordinator (ICO)

The task of an International Coordinator is to maintain contact with Sister Clubs in the network of “Open Door” and to make sure that their Club Members are aware of this network so that should they be moving to or visiting a country or city where a Sister-Clubs exists, they have an immediate point of contact. The International Coordinator also keeps in contact with other Clubs through the exchange of Newsletters from time to time.

The website of “Open Door” is :

In updating the files and the directory we noticed that several clubs have a Board Member performing the task of  International Coordinator.

The function of  International Coordinator in a club should preferably not be a board function. Not serving on the Board makes the ICO able to serve in this role for a longer time than a normal board function and in this way granting continuity. 

It has happened in the past that we “lost” a club, because a board member had come to the end of her term and nobody had thought of informing “Open Door” about who continued to do the international part of her task. 

Of course a Board Member (President or Vice President or Secretary) should have in her job description the responsibility in nominating a successor if somebody wishes to resign as International Coordinator.

As officers in the club change quite often it is of paramount importance that the contact email of the International Coordinator (ICO) will stay the same, thus providing continuity. 

I would like to suggest that you create an email address like “President. Nameclub”  or” Open”, as many clubs have already done. This can be transferred easily to your successors and the account will at the same time serve as a kind of archive.

“Open Door” should thus best be treated as a Club activity rather than a Club function. Most activities, such as book discussion group, gardening group or museum group, have a Coordinator where there is no serving time-limit, unlike Board positions. 

Of course there can be no guarantees that the Coordinator can stay in that position for a specific amount of time as we all lead very busy lives, however the main reason for having someone for the longer term is to provide continuity in communication for both her Club and the network. 

Hopefully you all now understand the importance to have the continuity with the International Coordinator and that you can find someone in your Club who would be interested and willing to hold that position for the longer-term – perhaps a former President might be interested to take on this position?

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