Following the recent NFWI Board of Trustees meeting, we can announce that the six proposed amendments to the 2016 resolutions were not accepted. Each WI has been contacted to explain the reasons behind these decisions. An amendment is a proposal to alter the wording or details of a resolution without affecting the principle of the resolution. An amendment must be clearly worded to show exactly which part of the resolution it is proposed to alter. In order to meet the criteria, an amendment must not materially change a resolution. It should enhance it, whilst retaining the original objective. WIs only need to consider an amendment if it is accepted by the NFWI Board to go to the AM. This means that this year WIs do not need to discuss any amendments.
Following this, please note that the wording of the resolutions under debate at this year’s Annual Meeting in Brighton on 11 June remain unchanged as follows:
Avoid food waste, address food poverty
The WI calls on all supermarkets to sign up to a voluntary agreement to avoid food waste, thereby passing surplus food on to charities thus helping to address the issue of increasing food poverty in the UK.
Appropriate care in hospitals for people with dementia
We call upon HM Government and the NHS to provide facilities to enable carers to stay with people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia that have been admitted into hospital.
What happens next?
If you haven’t already had your resolutions meeting, please remember that all WIs get one vote for each resolution, and need to vote for or against each resolution. This means that WIs can vote for both resolutions if they support them both, or against both if they support neither. WIs should not vote for one resolution over the other, but need to look at both resolutions independently and vote for or against each of them. If both resolutions achieve a majority of votes for, then the NFWI will pass both resolutions, and the NFWI will campaign on both issues.
About the resolutions process
The WI resolutions process is truly democratic; every single issue that the WI has worked on since 1915 has come from members’ own concerns. Every resolution is written by WI members themselves; the NFWI offers advice and help if needed, but please remember that every resolution is written by WI members who wish to tackle a particular issue or concern that they want to highlight and change.
Every campaign is proposed by WI members, and then the whole membership debates and votes throughout the year-long WI resolutions process. This year long process ensures that each member has the chance to be involved and consider the options; it really is democracy in action. Every planned campaign seeks to enable members to work locally to evoke a national change; working with fellow members, their wider community and MPs, depending on the topic under discussion.
Whilst the NFWI resolutions process is the national framework enabling members to engage with campaigning and Public Affairs, every single federation and WI can propose, select, and vote for their own local campaigns – WIs have been working on local issues that are important to their own communities since the very first meetings were held over 100 years ago.
Review of the resolutions process
Over the past few months, the NFWI Public Affairs team and committee have been looking at the process and considering whether it could be altered to allow even more members to get involved and truly engage in WI campaigns, and to enable the organisation to do even more positive work. All WIs will be contacted over the next few months to ask for their views on campaigning and the resolution process through this consultation, and feedback will be shared with be shared after the Autumn National Council meeting later in the year.