The IWO was created during the 1939 electoral cycle to direct and appeal to women voters. During that campaign the organization sponsored women’s “broom brigades” to dramatize their objective of “sweeping the city clean.”

IWO was not organized on a ward basis. Its membership was drawn primarily from middle and upper income residential areas of the city. In time, the membership changed from primarily Uptown to citywide.

The women called themselves independent to mean speaking in their own voice as separate from men and machine politics, not the Democratic Party.

Following the post-Hurricane Katrina levee breaks which devastated much of the Greater New Orleans Area, the IWO took a hiatus. In 2010, the organization was able to reorganize with the energy and enthusiasm of a new generation of Democratic women.

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