Lioness Clubs are women-only clubs open to members aged 18 plus. The first Lioness Club formed was Mount Pleasant in North Carolina, USA in December 1975 and New Zealand followed a year later with a club formed in Invercargill. A Lioness Club is sponsored by a Lions Club and the relationship is one of mutual support.
In 1987 responding to societal change, the Constitution was changed to allow women to join Lions Clubs. Some Lioness Clubs changed to Lions while some individuals joined an existing Lions Club, but the majority of Lioness Clubs retained their “Ladies Only” status.
Lioness Clubs are very active in many parts of the world. There are 19 Lioness Clubs in New Zealand, which are primarily designed to meet the needs of women who wish to unite with other women in humanitarian service while enjoying the company and friendships of like-minded individuals.