Each November a shortlist of proposed Resolutions, which have been checked by NFWI is published in My WI magazine and sent to all Federations and WIs. Then, in January/ February every WI member is asked to vote, individually, for her chosen Resolution. The winning choice (or sometimes two choices) is announced in April/May, when WIs are asked to discuss it and to decide whether they wish their delegate to vote in favour or against, or to give their delegate discretion to change their vote, should any new, relevant information be presented at the NFWI Annual Meeting. If it is voted on favourably at the Annual Meeting, then it becomes a mandate and continues to remain live to be campaigned on.
Below are links to three webpages: the first is a booklet produced by National on a Hundred Years of Campaigning which can be downloaded to be read on tablets or computers. The second is the list of Mandates up to 2017: this is on MyWI, and contains every single mandate from 1918 to 2017. The third webpage is where you can sign up for the Public Affairs Digest which is emailed to you every month and is full of interesting articles.
Below are Five Mandates that Wiltshire Members have been involved in over the years: the most recent is the SOS Honey Bees, which is still very pertinent today.
“Since the questions of maternal welfare is one which affects all women, this meeting, believing that the way in which the movement can help most is to further the efforts now being made to spread knowledge on the subject, urges County Federations to make known the health facilities offered by the various Local Authorities and to keep the whole matter before their Institutes. Further, this meeting urges women’s Institutes to do what is reasonably possible to ascertain: If a pre-natal clinic is available in their area for prospective mothers who desire to use it. Whether steps are being taken by the Local Authority to make such arrangements with the doctors practising in the area as will ensure medical supervision for women in rural areas where no clinic is practicable.” - Wiltshire Federation May 1931
“Sewerage and sewage disposal schemes. This meeting urges the Women’s Institutes to press their Local Authorities to provide drainage and sewage disposal in the villages.” - Wiltshire Federation June 1937
“That this meeting is of the opinion that the teaching of plain sewing and mending in senior and junior elementary schools should be given pre-eminence over less useful crafts and urges the NFWI to approach the Board of Education in this matter. Further, that amongst the qualifications of at least one of the teachers in each school there should be the ability to teach plain sewing.” - Wiltshire Federation Executive Committee June 1937
“That the Government be urged to take steps to expedite the modernisation of existing rural cottages where such modernisation can be efficiently, safely and economically effected for example by extension of the grant and loan available under the Rural Workers Housing Acts and to adjust the differences in rents between them and the new cottages built by the Local Authorities.” - Wiltshire Federation June 1945
SOS for Honey Bees “Honey Bees play a vital role in the pollination of food crops and in our environment. In view of concerns about the accelerating decline in the UK honey bee population, this meeting urges HM Government to increase funding for research into Bee Health.” Hindon & Fonthill Bishop WI - Wiltshire Federation June 2009