Mary Dorrell is Chairman of Norfolk Federation’s Public Affairs Committee and a member of Barford, Wramplingham and District WI. Here she explains why it is important for WI members to have their say on this year’s resolution shortlist.
To access the shortlist, background notes, PowerPoint presentations and quizzes visit the resolutions page of the WI website.
The WI has over 100 years of campaigning to its credit. We are not party-political you see, but we do take on politicians to get things done.
In 1930 we were campaigning to get an improved and adequate water supply into all rural areas in England and Wales. We have campaigned for Equal Pay for women since 1943, and in 1953 we were successful in changing arrangements for children in hospital so that parents were able to visit.
Our ‘No More Violence Against Women’ mandate dates from 1975, and this is a campaign we are still working on today. In Norfolk we worked with other community groups to create a giant white ribbon totem for International Day Against Violence in support of the White Ribbon campaign.
We also have many successful environmental campaigns. In 1927 we spoke out against the pollution of our seas from waste oil thrown over from ships, and the famous 1954 resolution on litter led to the creation of the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.
More recently our SOS Honey Bee campaign won The Third Sector Excellence Charity Partnership Award in 2014 for our partnership with Friends of the Earth. This campaign successfully pushed the government to launch the National Pollinator Strategy which sets out a plan to support bees and other pollinators.
Norfolk has always played a proud part in the resolutions process. Hellesdon WI put forward a successful resolution in 1964 to campaign for a ban on smoking in public places and in 2008 the Care not Custody campaign was borne out of a resolution originally devised by Brundall WI, and was successfully proposed by Norfolk Federation.
These mandates form the basis of campaigns supported by 220,000 WI members in 6,300 WIs across England, Wales and the Islands. All WI mandates come from ordinary WI members like you, working together in their own WIs.
Many WIs were hard at work over the summer, conducting research and discussions to put forward their own ideas for resolutions. In September the 85 resolutions submitted were considered by representatives from WI Federations to agree the shortlisted six you saw in the November/December edition of WI Life.
Every WI member has the chance to cast their selection for the resolution they support the most. Now it’s your turn!