Despite their isolation, most women were united through
their shared struggles and concerns for their families'
well-being. As more settlers arrived on the prairies and
roads were constructed or improved, women found it easier to
get together to talk about their experiences. The first
farmwomen's groups were informal gatherings among
churchgoers. Gradually, the Canadian Women's Institutes and
Women's Canadian Club set up branches in various rural and
urban communities, and grassroots women's clubs sprang up in
others. These clubs served primarily as places where women
could converse, borrow books, or leave their children while
they went shopping. Classes were held and magazines
distributed to create an environment where women could exchange
knowledge and learn new methods to bake bread, treat
ailments, and perform many other household tasks. Several
women, including each of the Famous 5, took active roles in
organizing and running these groups.
Through these local gatherings, rural women created bonds
that held their communities together. Their husbands also
developed community ties through their involvement in
fraternities such as the Knights of Columbus and local
literary and athletic clubs. In succeeding years, farmers'
associations including the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA)
set up local branches that involved both men and women. In
1916, female UFA members formed their own affiliated
organization, the United Farm Women of Alberta (UFWA). These
associations took on increasingly political roles, as did
women's suffrage and temperance societies, but they also
served to bring community members together.