Resolutions & Campaigns
The WI has a long history of campaigning on a wide range of issues that matter to women and their communities. Over the past 100 years, WI members have campaigned to empower and support women within society, exerting their individual and collective influence; brought a series of controversial issues into the public domain; and brought about many changes in legislation and government policy. These national campaigns, called 'resolutions' are voted on by all WI members each year.
At a local level, WIs are encouraged to support groups and charities that are important to their communities.
Formed in 1915, the WI has a long history of campaigning on a wide range of issues.
WI campaigns are about changing things for the better and tackling the issues that matter to members. Members are at the heart of the WI and they play a central role in bringing issues onto the WI's national agenda through our public affairs and campaigning.
From equal pay to climate change, from gaps in the midwifery workforce to the plight of the honey bee, WI members have embraced a diverse set of challenges and built a reputation for the WI as a practical and ambitious organisation that doesn't shy away from tricky issues.
Our resolutions and mandates process means every campaign starts within our membership. Read more about the wide range of WI campaigns and some recent successes, and see our campaigning history through snapshots going back to 1926.
Shortlist of resolutions for the 2021 Annual Meeting
1. A call to increase awareness of the subtle signs of ovarian cancer
Every two hours in the UK someone dies of ovarian cancer. Making sure GPs and the public know what to look for will not only ensure the early detection and treatment of this disease, but transform lives today and for generations to come. NFWI calls on WI members everywhere to help increase awareness of the subtle signs of ovarian cancer.
2. Stop women dying prematurely from coronary heart disease (CHD)!
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is twice as deadly for women in the UK than breast cancer. To avoid premature deaths caused by a lack of awareness of the symptoms and misdiagnosis, the NFWI calls on WI members to improve understanding among the public and healthcare professionals of the symptoms of a heart attack and its prevalence in society, particularly among women, and to campaign to tackle inequalities in treatment.
3. Racism and discrimination
Systemic racism and discrimination is still a prominent challenge in society. The global protests surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement have once again emphasised the extent of the inequality and injustice that people from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities still face across a wide range of settings including the justice system, employment, education and healthcare.
The NFWI and its members, in furtherance of their duties as citizens, agree to take concrete action to stamp out racial inequalities including by:
• campaigning for decision-makers to implement the recommendations of existing
• reviews on racial inequality, and taking action following forthcoming reviews;
• raising public awareness of these issues; and
• otherwise taking suitable action to increase recognition of, and help to address, this inequality and injustice.
4. Now's the time to act! Protect your nature space to create wildlife-friendly communities
UK wildlife is in decline, but solutions exist within all our communities. The NFWI calls on its members to participate in national schemes and local organisations and mobilise their groups to take action to protect wildlife in their own or local green spaces, protecting biodiversity and the environment, and creating a network of accessible wildlife-friendly communities throughout the UK.
5. Stop the destruction of peat bogs to tackle climate change
Peat cutting for compost is harming both our natural environment and our efforts to tackle climate change. 80% of peatlands in the UK are damaged and release millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. The WI calls on its members to cease using peat-based compost, to persuade others to cease using it and to work with garden centres to encourage them to stock alternative products which already exist, thereby reducing the demand for peat to be harvested.
How a Resolution becomes a Campaign
Between July and September, WIs and federations submit resolutions about current issues they are concerned about, to the NFWI.
In early autumn, the submitted resolutions are discussed and debated by federation and member representatives and reduced to a shortlist.
Between November and February, federations and WIs hold meetings to discuss the shortlisted resolutions, giving every member the chance to have their say on the shortlist. Each member casts their selection for the resolution they support the most.
The NFWI Board of Trustees reviews the results of the member selections and agrees on the resolutions to go forward to the Annual Meeting. This is usually one resolution, but sometimes more than one is taken forward. These resolutions are then again discussed by each WI to determine how they wish their delegate to vote at the AM.
At the Annual Meeting, delegates hear from the resolution proposer, seconder and experts on the topic before they cast votes on behalf of WIs to adopt a resolution. If a resolution is adopted it will go on to form the basis of a WI campaign.
Each year, Groombridge WI members select a local group or charity to support, with the funds we have raised over the year.