The Public Affairs Committee's role is to ensure all Members are up-to-date with the WI's latest campaigning efforts and also to run the resolutions and voting process within the group.
Campaigning is an important part of the WI and over the years Members from across the country have come together to speak out about difficult issues and take action to change things for the better.
Here is a snapshot of what the WI has been involved with:
- In 1943, almost 30 years before the law changed, a resolution from Bures WI in West Suffolk demanded equal pay for equal work was passed at the AGM.
- In 1954 a resolution against litter was passed which eventually led to the formation of Keep Britain Tidy.
- In 1964 Hellesdon WI in Norfolk won the support of the AGM on a resolution against smoking in public places.
- During the 1970s the WI lobbied for the introduction of breast screening clinics - this resulted in the government introducing a number of mobile screening clinics followed by a national screening programme for all women aged 50 - 64, the first of its kind in the EU.
- The 80s saw the WI call for public facing information campaigns on HIV and AIDs.
More recently, campaigns have focused on issues such as library closures, food labelling, mental health care and the justice system, Legal Aid, honeybees, excess packaging and violence against women.
So you can see that the WI covers a lot of important topics and works hard to bring about change, by lobbying MPs, working with national and international organisations and raising awareness in our own communities.
The Buns & Roses PA Committee's job is to highlight the latest developments to the group and co-ordinate the voting on the resolutions process.
This takes place every year and is how campaigns are formed. In brief, proposals are put forward by WIs or Members and at the NFWI AGM we vote collectively on whether we want the resolutions that have come through to the final stages to become mandates. If the vote is passed, we then begin campaigning on the issue.
Over the coming months there will be many ways to get involved with WI campaigning and we hope that Members will join in and take action to stand up for important causes.