A Global Voice For Home Economics

Founded 1908, IFHE is the only international body representing home economics.

We strive to achieve a sustainable living for all, advocating education and research on the responsible management of resources at consumer and household level.

Our perspective and membership are global. We hold consultative status with the United Nations.

Multiple Disciplines - One Concern

Home Economics is a field of study and a profession, situated in the human sciences. It is considered as the original field of research on economic, social and ecological aspects of everyday living. Home Economics is an umbrella term and encompasses multiple disciplines.

Our membership promotes households as key to transforming societies towards sustainable practices and shares a concern for vulnerable audiences. We address

  • Multi-dimensional economic, social and ecological aspects, that affect a sustainable living
  • Households as key to improving personal and public environments
  • The impact of individual choices on local/global communities.


Read more about our Mission & Aims.

Our Origins

Advancing women

In the 19th century, home economics was one of the first subjects that allowed women to pursue a higher education or vocational training in science. As women’s access to education and careers advanced, 20th century home economists were successful in placing food, sanitary and consumer protections into policy, while making the gendered nature of the field less relevant.

With the increased awareness for sustainable lifestyles, disciplines teaching “life skills” face a renewed interest. Individuals and households are considered key to achieve an optimal living for all. Today, home economics also addresses global interdependence and promotes “home” as a place of value that men and women can act within on equal terms.

Read more about Home Economics in the 21st century.


Over 110 years of professional exchange

IFHE traces its beginnings to an international congress on Home Economics Education held Switzerland in 1908. The congress aimed at attracting attention to the value of domestic work done by women and the importance of their education. As the teaching of Home Economics was still in its infancy, the congress offered a first international platform for exchange

Despite the difficulties of travel and communication, the event attracted 750 participants from 20 countries. Based on a feeling of shared purpose, a decision was made to found an international organisation for home economics.

Click here for a list of IFHE Presidents since 1908.