Resolutions

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.

Resolution Shortlist 2023

This month we need to vote on which of the 4 proposed resolutions under consideration each of us would like taken forward to become a campaign in the next year.  The shortlisted resolutions are:

  1. Save our water – every drop matters
  2. Women to women – turning over a new leaf in the lives of women tea workers
  3. Online gambling harm: time for action
  4. Clean rivers for people and wildlife

Details of each resolution were included in the November / December issue of WI Life.  Also there is lots of extra information available on the MyWI website if you would like to study them in more detail. 

https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/public-affairs-and-campaigns/news-and-actions/resolution-shortlist-2022-23

I have summarised below each of the proposals, with what the proposer would like to be done and what NFWI suggests the campaigns could include.  All members are eligible to vote and select the one resolution that they would like to be the next campaign topic.

I will gather votes and feedback the totals for each one to ESFWI, who will then pass on the combined number of votes for each one to NFWI.  We need your vote by 4 February.

Sarah Merriman, President

January 2023

    1. Save our water – every drop matters

    As global temperatures rise, there is a risk drought will become more frequent in the UK.  This will place increasing strains on the UK’s water supply and endanger our natural world.  The NFWI calls on government and water companies to work together to develop robust plans that would ensure the UK’s long-term water security, including addressing water leakage from pipes.  The NFWI calls on WI members to take immediate personal actions to value and conserve water.

    The Proposer is concerned that worsening climate change will place strains on the UK’s water supply.  The proposer would like WI members to take action to reduce their water usage to conserve water.  She would also like the WI to lobby government to hold water companies to account to reduce water leakage from pipes.  She would also like the UK Government to ask the National Drought Group to speed up measures to prevent drought in 2023, and measures to ensure long-term water security.

    At local and regional levels, WI members could raise awareness of individual and household water use and encourage members of their local communities to conserve water where possible.  Federations and WIs could also establish links with their regional water companies and find ways of working to raise awareness of long-term water security issues.  Federations and WIs could visit their local water treatment works and invite relevant speakers to address their WIs.

    Nationally, the NFWI could launch a national campaign to work with government, the Environment Agency and water companies to encourage a reduction in water leakage from pipes, and work with the National Drought Group to encourage measures that promote the UK’s long-term water security.  The NFWI could also work with environmental organisations.

    2. Women to women – turning over a new leaf in the lives of women tea workers

    While in the UK we enjoy our daily cuppa, the mostly women tea workers who produce our tea struggle to access living wages, decent housing, sanitation or education for their children due to the low prices paid to producers for tea.  The NFWI calls on UK tea companies and retailers to take action to fix the broken tea buying system to enable plantation owners to give women tea pluckers a fair deal so they can live the healthy and prosperous family life they deserve.

    The Proposer is concerned that the depreciation of tea prices is impacting the wages, living conditions, and access to healthcare and education opportunities.  The proposer would like the NFWI to work with UK tea companies and retailers to enable plantation owners to give women tea pluckers a fair deal to ensure that they and their families have access to a good standard of living.

    At local and regional levels, WIs and federations could learn more about the issue and link up with local Fairtrade towns groups to work together.  WI members could raise awareness about the low wages and poor living standards faced by women tea workers.  WI members could use their influence as consumers to encourage supermarkets and tea brands in the UK to pay tea workers a living wage and push for transparency in their tea supply chains.

    Nationally, the NFWI could work with organisations like the Fairtrade Foundation, and other charities such as THIRST (The International Roundtable for Sustainable Tea) that focus on international development and gender equality.  The WI could lobby supermarkets at tea companies at a national level to push them to commit to action.

    3. Online gambling harm: time for action

    Online gambling has substantially increased, resulting in a growing number of people being exposed to the risks of gambling-related harms.  Current legislation is inadequate in addressing the harms caused by problem gambling and in providing protections to those affected. This resolution calls on decisionmakers to introduce updated legislation and regulation to address these issues, and for increased support to be made available to those affected by problem gambling, particularly women and children.

    The proposer is concerned about the increase of gambling related harms.  She believes that current legislation is inadequate in providing protections to limit the harm caused to problem gamblers and to those affected by problem gambling.

    At local and regional levels, WIs and federations could learn more about the issue and hold educational events to raise awareness in their local areas about gambling related harms and the support that is available.

    Nationally, the NFWI could work with existing charities and expert organisations to raise awareness and promote education on a national scale. The NFWI could support existing campaigns to push for gambling law reforms.

    4. Clean rivers for people and wildlife

    Water quality in our rivers is shameful.  Legally, designated bathing waters must be regularly monitored for pollution.  The NFWI urges its members, the wider public, local authorities and Government to make, support and promote applications for official designated bathing sites on appropriate stretches of rivers in their area.  This will be as instrumental to the clean-up of rivers as it has been for water quality improvement at coastal beaches.

    The proposer wants the WI to work with local and national authorities as well as the public to make parts of any river into officially designated Bathing Waters as a way of improving water quality.

    At local and regional levels, WIs and federations can work with local authorities and communities to support or start new applications for bathing waters in suitable areas.  WIs could learn more about the issue and hold educational events to raise awareness in their local areas. 

    Nationally, the NFWI could form partnerships with expert organisations to raise awareness and promote education on a national scale.  The NFWI could support existing campaigns to promote bathing status in rivers.