WI Resolutions - Why, What and How?

Written and collated by Ruth T, Member of Cam City WI

Our Current WI Resolutions are:



  • A call to increase potential stem cell donor registration

  • End Modern Slavery


  • Don't Fear the Smear

  • A call against the decline in Local Bus Services


  • Mental Health Matters


  • Plastic Soup: Keep microplastic fibres out of our oceans

  • Alleviating Loneliness

Read the detail about these resolutions

Why does the WI have Resolutions?

The Women's Institute is often seen as a bunch of women (usually older) making cakes, jam and crafting. What people tend to misunderstand (even some of our own members) is that at its heart the WI is a campaigning organisation. Its 103 years (as at 2018) since the WI started in England and Wales, and for more than 95 of these years the organisation has had a Resolution/common goal that all individual institutes and members can get behind.

WI resolution campaigns are about changing things for the better and tackling the issues that matter to members. Our resolutions and mandates process mean that every campaign starts within our membership. 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.

Some of the Resolutions that have had the greatest impact are:

  • Equal pay

  • Women Police

  • Prevention of Venereal Disease

  • AIDS

  • Fair Trade

  • Care not Custody

  • Keep Britain Tidy

  • Breast Cancer Screening

  • Family Planning Services

  • The SOS for Honey Bees

Read more detail about these Resolutions

Resolutions and mandates

The NFWI’s Annual Meeting gives every member a unique opportunity to turn a concern into a national campaign. Delegates from around the country come together to cast their vote. Resolutions that are passed become the mandates that form the backbone of the WI’s public affairs work at local and national levels. With roots in villages, towns and cities across England, Wales and the islands, members nationwide get behind the WI campaigns. Campaigners build pressure and often maintain momentum over a period of years until they see a result

A member-led democratic process

The WI is a member led organisation, the resolutions process ensures that every WI member has the opportunity to set the direction of national campaigns and policy, from the grassroots up. Every year WI members have the chance to put forward issues as 'resolutions' that they want to see the national body campaign on.

Resolutions currently go through a year-long process. Members from across the country are able to submit resolutions. There are usually upwards of 50 initial resolutions sent to national via federation offices. These are debated in September by representatives from each federation at a meeting in London. Here the 50 are whittled down into a shortlist which is circulated to members via the WI life magazine. Individually members are asked to vote from the first shortlist for the resolution they would like to see debated at the NFWI Annual meeting. The top 1 or 2 voted for are then put to a final debate within each WI (usually around March/April). Most WIs will invite a speaker from a relevant organisation to talk on the topic and answer questions surrounding the issue. After this each WI decides whether they will support the proposed resolution or not before informing their delegate who will vote on their behalf at the AGM. If passed (not all do, the 2015 AGM ended with no Resolution passed) these then become mandates and form the basis of campaigning and awareness raising activities in the years ahead.

Cam City WI members have submitted 2 resolutions during the last 4 years, we have members who are passionate about campaigning and getting involved. If you have an idea or want to speak to a member who has submitted a resolution please ask the committee who will put you in touch.

Read the 'Tips for Submitting a Good Resolution'