The first Women's Cricket World Cup was held in England in 1973, two years before the first men's world cup in 1975. The competition was the brainchild of businessman Sir Jack Hayward, who contributed a lot of money towards its costs. The format of ther first tournament was as a round robin, with teams from England, Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, plus an International XI and a Young England side. The inaugural winners were England.
Five years after first being held, the 1978 tournament was contested in India by only four teams, England, Australia, India and New Zealand (Holland and the West Indies withdrew for financial reasons). The six matches in the tournament were held over 50 overs, with Australia defeating England in the final in 31 overs.
The tournament has been held about every four years since, with Australia winning the most tournaments, winning 7 out of the 12 contested so far, with England next with four wins. The first two tournaments were contested as a round robin, but since then the tournament has had a final.