Before 1989, Rotary generally prohibited women as members.  Therefore another organisation was established for the wives and daughters of Rotarians, known as Inner Wheel. Despite women now being able to join Rotary, Inner Wheel Clubs continue in many countries.

Inner Wheel is an international organisation closely linked to Rotary that was founded in 1924 by Margarette Golding, a nurse, business woman and the wife of a Manchester Rotarian, to unite wives and daughters of Rotarians.  Prior to 1924, wives of Rotarians in many cities and towns, prompted by a concern for public welfare, had been voluntarily, in the background, giving their time and energies to help in any service being undertaken by their menfolk.  On the 15th November 1923, twenty-seven Rotary wives, led by Mrs. Golding, met in a Cooling Room (because it was free of charge) at Herriot's Turkish Baths, St Mary's Street, Deansgate, Manchester.  They discussed the possibility of forming an independent ladies' group run on Rotary lines.  The objects of the Club, they explained, would be twofold, to foster friendship and to offer much more in the way of service.

The International Inner Wheel objectives are (a) promoting true friendship, (b) encouraging the ideals of personal service, and (c) fostering international understanding.  The International Inner Wheel is one of the largest women's voluntary organisations in the world.  It is active in over 103 countries with 100,000 members in 3895 clubs. 

Any woman who shares the three central aims of International Inner Wheel can join the organisation.  Members achieve these aims through Club events, which combine personal service, fund-raising, fellowship and fun, united by friendship and a common aim to serve the local community.  Members give practical support as well as financial help whenever there is a crisis, whether this occurs locally, nationally or internationally, for natural disasters or for people suffering in war-torn regions.