NFWI Key Campaigns


To bring you up to date with the many campaigns, please go to this link:

https://www.thewi.org.uk/campaigns/key-and-current-campaigns

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Last year, this campaign was launched in 2019, an estimated 1.3 million women across the UK experienced violence, including domestic violence, rape, forced marriage, sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse and harassment.
Spearheaded by the UN, 16 days of activism against gender-based violence runs every year from 25th November (International Day to End Violence against Women) to 10th December (Human Rights Day).

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Make Time For Mental Health

Launched in 2018, our Make Time for Mental Health campaign focuses on improving the way we view mental health. It aims to make it just as acceptable to talk about mental health and asks for better support for those who need it.

Across the organisation members have been taking action by raising awareness in their communities, speaking to local healthcare professionals and lobbying the government to provide better care.            

If you would like to know more about the campaign and discover ways to participate, please go to the link above to download more information.

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Climate Change

Be it cleaning up our beaches or standing up for the honeybee, the WI has a proud history of taking action to protect the environment. In recent times, this concern for our natural environment has seen members rally against climate change.
Climate change is already affecting the things we love and can be seen through increased flooding or summer heatwaves. It is changing the seasons, disturbing the journeys of migrating birds and affecting crops and flowers. 

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5 Minutes That Matter

Our 5 Minutes that Matters campaign seeks to raise awareness of the importance of attending routine cervical screening, and support more women to make an informed decision about whether or not to take up their invitations. It also calls on WI members to help make cervical screening more accessible by tackling barriers to attendance. The campaign was launched at the NFWI Annual Meeting in June 2019.

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Get On Board

With bus services under threat across England, Wales and the Islands, our Get on Board for a Better Bus Service campaign calls on both local and national governments to take action. We are seeking to raise awareness of the importance of local bus services and to empower members, WIs and federations to make the case for buses in their local communities.

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End Plastic Soup

Launched in 2017, our End Plastic Soup campaign explores the scale of the microplastic fibre pollution and calls on the government and industry to develop solutions to the problem.
The issue is complex and involves a wide range of stakeholders, from the clothing and wastewater treatment industries to washing machine manufacturers.

Microplastic fibres are small (5mm or smaller) plastic fragments shed from synthetic clothes when washed. As the fragments are too small to be caught by the machine’s filters, they then flow into the sewage system and eventually into the ocean, where those fibres are often swallowed or absorbed by plants and fish, filling up their stomachs and in some cases causing them to die.

The scale of the problem is large, as millions of people wash their clothes every week. These fibres can also end up in the food we eat – the long-term effects of which are not yet clear.

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History of WI campaigns

                                                            

Over the last 100 years, our members have campaigned on an incredible range of issues, increasing public awareness and bringing about real change. Discover some of our campaign highlights in the timeline below.

                                                                                             

  1. Housing


    The very first WI resolution was passed in 1918 at the NFWI’s second Annual Meeting and called for a ‘sufficient supply of convenient and sanitary houses, being of vital importance to women in the country’.


  2. Women on jury service


    The WI has always strived to ensure women play a full role in public life. This has included emphasising the importance of women jurors and magistrates in 1921.


  3. Women Police


    In 1922 and 1924, two resolutions were passed calling for an increase in women police.


  4. Equal pay for equal work


    In 1943, Bures WI in Suffolk West Federation proposed a resolution calling for ‘equal pay for equal work’. This campaign followed a debate on equality that had been rising during the years of WWII.


  5. Keep Britain Tidy


    With its roots in rural life, protection of the countryside has always been important to the WI and it was a resolution in 1954 that brought about one of the WI’s most significant initiatives.

    This resolution called for a campaign to ‘preserve the countryside against desecration by litter,’ and subsequently led to the formation of the Keep Britain Tidy group.


  6. Smoking in public places


    In 1964, just ten years after researchers in the UK had established a link between smoking and lung cancer, the WI passed a resolution which called for measures ‘to restrict the amount of smoking in public places,’ including the amount of smoking broadcast on television.


  7. Cervical Screening


    In 1964, the WI called on ‘Her Majesty’s Government and the Regional Hospital Boards to treat as a matter of urgency the provision of comprehensive facilities for a routine smear test for cervical cancer’.

    The WI began educating its members about screening facilities and encouraged women to ask for the test which was extremely under-utilised at the time.


  8. Plastic Pollution


    While laws are beginning to come into force to ban various single-use plastics, the WI has been raising awareness around the impact of plastic on the environment since the 1960s and 1970s.

    In 1971, the Women's Institutes proposed a resolution calling for research ‘into the production of disintegrating plastic packaging materials’ due to the increasing danger to livestock, other animals and the spoiling of beaches and the countryside.


  9. HIV and AIDS awareness


    The NFWI was one of the first organisations to talk about HIV and AIDS following its 1986 resolution ‘to inform the general public of the true facts concerning the disease AIDS’ and used its unrivalled network of local organisations to educate the public and get people talking about the issue.


  10. Fairtrade Foundation


    The WI was one of the several organisations who founded the Fairtrade Foundation in 1992. Members had been campaigning throughout the 1970s and 1980s for global food security and agricultural self-sufficiency in developing countries.


  11. Care Not Custody


    In June 2008, the WI passed a resolution calling for an end to the inappropriate detention of people with mental health problems. In partnership with the Prison Reform Trust, the Care not Custody campaign aimed to bring an end to the use of prison as a ‘default option’ for people with mental health needs or learning disabilities.


  12. More Midwives


    Recognising the chronic shortages of midwives, in 2012 the WI called on the Government to ‘increase investment in the training, employment and retention of midwives in England and Wales to ensure services are adequately resourced and are able to deliver a high standard of care.’

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