The idea of reviving a Jewish national home after 2,000 years of exile seemed almost overwhelming. A group of very strong women, whose husbands were involved in Zionist activity, felt that women should have a distinctive and equal role in the return to Zion. Some of these women were also suffragettes, struggling for the political right of women to vote alongside men in England.
These women, led by Rebecca Sieff, Vera Weizmann and Romana Goodman, wives of prominent Zionists and powerful personalities in their own right, founded a “Ladies Committee” within the British Zionist Federation in 1918. On January 12, 1919, they held the founding conference of a Women’s Federation in Britain in London for the purpose of setting up a Women’s Federation in Britain. This eventually became known as the Federation of Zionist Women, later British WIZO, and today WIZOUK.