The Women's Board

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The Women's General Missionary Society was organized and formally sanctioned by the UPNA General Assembly of 1883 to "take up only such work as relates to women and children", a statement of policy made largely to avoid the appearance of conflict with the other Boards of the UPNA (all of which were run and staffed by men of the Church). Gradually the society became known as The Women’s Board. Independent in finances and in its work aims, the Women's Board became a parallel sending agency of the UPNA’s mission, recruiting, screening, employing and sending women to serve in all the UPNA's fields of mission work (Pakistan, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan). The women of the denomination were superior to the men in raising money for both church and mission, Presbyterian women being possessed of an urgent sense of purpose in overseas work more than equal to that of the men in the denomination. From 1854 until the denominational union of the UPNA and the UPCUSA in 1957, the Women’s Board appointed all single women missionaries serving the UP, working in close cooperation with the Board of Foreign Missions. From the very first, single women on every mission field had full voice and vote in all Mission Association meetings, along with all career men and married women. From 1854 until denominational union, the Women’s Board recruited and sent single women out to the Egypt Mission as doctors, nurses, teachers, administrators, evangelists and women’s work directors. See "The United Presbyterian Story" by Wallace N. Jamison, Geneva Press, Pittsburgh PA, 1958, Chapters Five (page 76) and Ten (page 163); and, re appointments by the Women's Board to Egypt, see "Vindicating a Vision" by E.E. Elder, United Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, Philadelphia, 1958, pages 137-145, 224, 225, 270, 271, Chapter 33, pages 281-287.


During the American Great Depression, the Women's Board recruited and paid for Schutz teachers, when the Board of Foreign Missions was unable to support that financial commitment.