As the two most popular resolutions were only just over 2000 selections apart, the NFWI Board of Trustees decided to put both forward to the Annual Meeting. This means that the following resolutions will be considered at the Annual Meeting.
This meeting calls on every WI and the NFWI to work alongside health and social care providers and their local community to raise awareness of the causes and impacts of loneliness, thus ensuring better identification of lonely people in order to be able to offer them the appropriate assistance and support.
Plastic Soup: Keep microplastic fibres out of our ocean
Microplastic fibres are shed from synthetic clothing with every wash and are the main contributors to microplastic contamination of the oceans. The NFWI calls on Government and industry to research and develop innovative solutions to this problem in order to stop the accumulation of microplastic fibres in our oceans.
What happens next?
Members now have the opportunity to learn more about the issues, and to discuss the two resolutions in their WIs before deciding how they wish their delegate to vote at the AM.
How does my WI cast our vote?
All WIs get one vote for each resolution. This means your WI shouldn’t vote for one resolution over the other, but should vote for or against each one independently. If both resolutions are passed at the AM, the NFWI will campaign on both issues.
Your WI can also choose to give discretion to your delegate to decide how to vote after hearing the presentations and debate at the annual meeting.
Only votes cast for and against the resolutions will be counted, in accordance with the voting procedure set out in the NFWI Memorandum and Articles of Association. Abstaining means that a delegate would not cast a vote, and therefore this abstention would not be counted.
What resources are available to support WI discussions?
To support members to get involved the Public Affairs team has produced a range of resources.
Plastic Soup: Keep microplastic fibres out of our oceans
Other resources available include:
- a guide to holding a resolutions meeting;
- a frequently asked questions document explaining the process.
All these resources are available to download from the website.
The Public Affairs Team will also be holding social media Q&A sessions in the run up to the AM to answer member questions. Dates and times for these sessions will be published on the website shortly and promoted on Twitter @womensinstitute and Facebook.
I’m passionate about one of the resolutions that was unsuccessful, can my WI work on this issue too?
While the resolutions going forward to the AM have the potential to become flagship national WI campaigns, there are many other ways WIs and members can work on other issues at a local or Federation level.
The WI has worked on violence against women for many years, and there are a number of existing mandates that allow members to work on these issues in their own communities. The NFWI regularly promotes opportunities for members to get involved in campaigning activity on this issue. Most recently, the WI has supported the IC Change campaign to push the government to ratify the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and girls.
Members who would like to work on issues related to violence against women could raise awareness of local, national and international gender issues during International Women’s Day on 8 March or attend the Million Women Rise March. NFWI Wales is also promoting the Not in my Name campaign to engage men in pledging their support in ending violence against women.
Similarly, the WI’s longstanding More Midwives campaign has called for action to ensure that women get the right support before, during and after birth, most recently with the launch of our Support Overdue 2017 report. Our report found that nearly 20% of women are not seeing a midwife as often as they needed to after birth, and half of those women told us they wanted to discuss their mental or emotional wellbeing but were not able to. Members can support the campaign by writing to their MP or AM asking them to end the midwife shortage.
You could also consider approaching your Federation to put forward a resolution at Federation-level. To find out how to go about this, please contact your Federation direct.