The National Council of Women of Kenya (NCWK) was founded in 1964 as an umbrella organization to co-ordinate activities of Kenyan women and formed as the Kenyan chapter of the International Council of Women. There are now more than 150 women's organization affiliated in NCWK. It is registered in Kenya as an NGO, non-profit, non-political organization. The NCWK concentrates of women's issues, education, and the environment. It holds workshops and seminars in Kenya on gender and health issues, and human rights.
In 1980 Wangari Maathai was elected as chair of the National Council of Women of Kenya. Unfortunately government pressure led to funding being diverted to similar organizations friendly to President Daniel arap Moi. The NCWK ended up near bankrupt and survived only by concentrating on environmental issues. Maathai remained chair until she was forced to retire in 1987 thought governmental intervention.