Last month (October) we had our voting hats on to decide a new committee member; this month we’ll have more voting to do as we make our opinions heard on the resolutions for 2014.
For anyone who doesn’t know much about WI resolutions and campaigning (I didn’t until I joined the committee), here’s a brief rundown…
The topics we, as WI members, choose to campaign on are decided at the AGM. Initially, any member can put forward issues which they would like the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) to consider campaigning on – these are known as resolutions.
Once all the resolutions have been collected, a process of debating and consulting begins. A shortlist of resolutions is debated in Federations and individual WIs; after this period, a final selection of resolutions are taken forward to discuss at the summer AGM.
If a resolution is passed at the AGM, it then becomes a mandate and forms the basis of campaigning and awareness activities carried out throughout the WI membership in the years ahead.
If you want to read a little more about campaigns and the WI, have a look at our Campaigns page which includes a link to the WI website.
The shortlist has been prepared and it it now our time to vote. Here’s the latest mailing from the WI:
“There were a good selection of resolutions this year, 51 of them. This was such an improvement on last year when there were only 22, many of them rather poor. Discussing each one in detail, as we do at the Selection meeting to choose the shortlist, took a long, very intense day. Some very good resolutions unfortunately fell by the wayside, including two from Hampshire, but the short list consists of some campaigns which we will really be able to get our teeth into. They are:
- Campaign against female genital mutilation. This is in keeping with WI campaigns on violence against women and girls and promoting female rights. The DPP is working on it, but we can certainly add our voice.
- Provision of non-acute hospital beds. This is a campaign we could do locally to ensure that there are places made available for people who are able to go home but can’t because there is no-one to look after them; it would also apply to dementia patients who occupy nearly a quarter of hospital beds. An NHS hostel bed would be cheaper than one in a hospital.
- Funds for womens’ centres to cater for the specific needs of vulnerable women at risk of offending. This is another campaign which sits well with our promotion of female rights. Keeping women out of jail helps on so many levels, particularly concerning their families.
- Increasing organ donation. We are not alone in campaigning for this, but even if we only encouraged more of our members organ donations could be increased.”
WI Life (sent out to members) will have more information on the issues but between now and our meeting at the end of November, the committee will be writing a few blog posts with our thoughts (personal to each writer, not the opinion of the whole committee) about the issues suggested – we hope this will help you all with some background information about each topic but each will still be discussed at the meeting on the 26th of November.
Do you feel strongly about any of the issues suggested above? If so, would you be willing to write a blog post about it? We’re hoping to get the discussions started before the meeting so any input from Sotonettes members would be greatly appreciated. Find out how to contact us here.
Update (17th Nov) – the shortlist has now been reduced to 4 after legal advice – post amended.