Resolution Shortlist 2022/23
A resolution is a call for change on a current issue in society. Once a resolution has been adopted at the Annual Meeting, the Public Affairs Department turns it into a campaign. Through national and local campaigning, members play a key role in achieving change on important issues.
Below are summaries of the four shortlisted resolutions, taken from the November/December issue of WI Life. Please consider all the resolutions and then choose the one that you would most like to see go forward. The selection form (page 25 of the Nov/Dec 2021 WI Life) can be filled in and posted to your federation, or requested by emailing the NFWI at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, let us know at the usual contact and the committee will submit all selections together. The deadline for selections is 14th February 2023.
Resolution One: 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.
- In future, it is likely that UK water security will become an increasingly pressing environmental issue. Would passing this resolution now mean that the WI would be able to get ahead of an emerging environmental issue?
- The UK Government has, in theory, already put in place measures to try and reduce water usage as much as is possible. Could the WI’s influence encourage further governmental action?
- Previous WI campaigns have demonstrated that WI members are very effective at encouraging community action – this resolution could see members encouraging others to use water responsibly.
- A reliable supply of water is vital to achieve the UK’s legally binding target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 as a number of low-carbon energy generation technologies will need vast amounts of water for energy cooling.
Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures – http://grantham.sheffield.ac.uk/how-much-water-does-the-uk-use/
Energy Saving Trust – https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/why-we-should-all-be-saving-water/
The Rivers Trust – theriverstrust.org/key-issues/drought
Resolution Two – 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.
• This resolution could be an opportunity to work on an international gender issue – an area of work where the WI has not had a resolution for some years.
• The WI has lobbied supermarkets successfully in the past as part of our Food Matters campaign. As a group of empowered and informed consumers, WI members could be influential in pushing supermarkets to act.
• The WI was one of several organisations who founded the Fairtrade Foundation in 1992. This resolution could be an opportunity to re-establish closer links with the Foundation and to build on this work in focusing on one key area.
• A number of organisations who operate on a global level are already campaigning to address the imbalance in the global tea supply chain.
Resolution Three: 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.
• Given the increase in numbers of people, particularly women, being affected by gambling related harms, calling for action on this issue could be a bold resolution for the WI to adopt.
• One argument against gambling reforms is that making this a public health issue poses a threat to individual freedom of choice.
• The WI could work with existing campaign organisations to raise the profile of this issue. Despite the need for change, government and regulatory action has been slow or postponed several times.
• As this is already and issue on the government’s radar, could a WI campaign really add value?
• If a government white paper on reform of the Gambling Act is due to be published in 2023, there is a risk that this resolution could be overtaken by events.
Gordon Moody – gordonmoody.org.uk
Be Gamble Aware – Women’s Campaign – begambleaware.org/advice-tools-support
Gambling with Lives – gamblingwithlives.org/
House of Lords library – Public Health England: Gambling-related harms review
Resolution Four: 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 WI holds past mandates on the issue of water pollution and river quality, so this resolution could bring a new angle to this past work.
• Many organisations are already campaigning on this issue and the Government has taken action in the past months. This is an issue that has received significant and sustained media attention over the last two years.
• The focus of the resolution is narrow. Would a campaign on this topic benefit from a wider focus to improve river water quality?
Surfers against Sewage – sas.org.uk/water-quality/
The Rivers Trust – theriverstrust.org
House of Lords Library – Sewage pollution in England’s waters – lordslibrary.parliament.uk/sewage-pollution-in-englands-waters/