Resolution Shortlist 2021/22
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 five 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 27 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 2022.
Resolution One: Fit for purpose: fit for girls
The NFWI calls on clothing manufacturers and retailers to produce and market clothes for girls of all ages which are equal to boys clothing ranges in terms of design, quality, and coverage. Girls’ clothing ranges should aim to empower and enable girls to feel comfortable and confident in whatever activity they choose throughout childhood.
Gender stereotypes and expectations markedly limit children and have been found to contribute towards the mental health crisis among children and young people.
- This resolution offers WI members the chance to challenge gender stereotypes that have a damaging impact on girls, and for them to use their purchasing power and lobby retailers to change their practices.
- This resolution could also include children’s school uniform, and campaign for gender neutral uniform to enable girls to take part in the same physical activities that boys are able to, without restrictions placed by clothing.
Let Clothes be Clothes – https://www.letclothesbeclothes.co.uk/
Resolution Two: Appropriate sentencing of non-violent women offenders
The NFWI urges government to renew its focus on early intervention and community-based resolutions for women who have committed non-violent offences as a matter of urgency.
The majority of women who go to prison for non-violent offences are some of the most vulnerable women in society. They are often the victims of much more serious crimes, such as domestic violence. Almost three in five female prisoners report having children; an estimated 17,000 children are affected by maternal imprisonment every year
- This resolution is a chance to shine a spotlight on an issue that is not well known, and offers potential to achieve positive change for some of the most and marginalised women in society
- The resolution also offers an opportunity to build on the work the WI is doing supporting women offenders through our prison WI’s
Prison Reform Trust – http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/WhatWeDo/Projectsresearch/Women
Resolution Three: Equality in law for the menopause
The NFWI calls on the Government to strengthen the equality law by including the menopause as a protected characteristic alongside pregnancy and maternity under the Equality Act 2010, in order to provide better protection for women and to help tackle the stigma around menopause.
The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 as women’s oestrogen levels decline. Menopausal symptoms can begin years before periods stop and continue long after. They can be quite severe, significantly impacting daily activities. Although largely covered by three of nine protected characteristics – age, sex, and disability – including it as an individual characteristic could make it easier for women to bring claims of discrimination
- This resolution would allow the WI to challenge the taboos surrounding the menopause and supports the NFWI strategy to be a strong campaigning voice for women
- As an educational charity, WI members can already share information about the menopause to raise awareness. However, a resolution on this issue would enable the WI to launch a national campaign to call for greater protection for women through legislation.
CIPD Research – https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/culture/well-being/menopause
Resolution Four: Women and Girls with ASD and ADHD: under-identified, under-diagnosed, misdiagnosed, under-supported
The NFWI calls on the government and funding bodies to fund research into the female presentation of ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and for action to be taken to improve the diagnosis process for women and girls, to ensure that they are equipped to better manage these conditions and do not suffer in silence. Further, the NFWI calls on members to raise awareness within their WI’s of the issues facing women and girls with ASD and ADHD.
Historically, ASD and ADHD have been recognised as mainly affecting men and boys. This has resulted in women and girls being overlooked or misdiagnosed. The symptoms of these disorders can present differently in girls and often get mistaken by medical professionals as stress, anxiety or related conditions.
- This is a gender equality issue and would align well with our broader campaign and organisational work in this area, as well as our focus on inclusivity as part of our strategic vision
- The resolution is broad and has wide potential for action, including awareness raising and lobbying activities, as well as action within WI’s.
National Autistic Society – https://autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/what-is-autism/autistic-women-and-girls
Resolution Five: Tackling Digital Exclusion
The NFWI calls on the government to increase investment in digital infrastructure, ensure access to suitable devices and appropriate education and training. Millions of people are affected by digital exclusion, limiting access to essential services, learning opportunities and social connection. This could be due to lack of internet connection, appropriate devices, or being digitally illiterate.
An Ofcom report earlier in 2021 apparently found that 1.5 million UK homes did not have internet access. Also, 20 percent of children were without a suitable device for learning while schools were closed during the pandemic. Good Things Foundation has called for £130m over the next four years to improve digital inclusion, and for internet access to be a recognised essential utility, as is electricity.
- This resolution could tie in well with the organisation’s educational charitable objects, and strategic focus on inclusivity, as well as our broader work around supporting and enabling members to use digital tools.
- This resolution offers and opportunity for the NFWI to build on the work currently being undertaken by NFWI Wales around digital inclusion and access to broadband.
Good Things Foundation – https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/the-digital-divide/
Citizens Online – http://www.citizensonline.org.uk/digital-inclusion/