Monday, 2 November 2009

Campaigns, Party Conferences and Inspirational Women

Since I last signed in much of my time has been taken with attending talks and discussions on our different campaigns.

Together with some of our Bee Ambassadors I paid a visit to the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) in York. We were introduced to its Bee Base and also saw the veroa mite close up, as well as the devastating effects of its infestation in bee hives.

The visit to FERA was swiftly followed by a day of lobbying the three main political parties, including, government Minister Joan Ruddock MP, on climate change. In particular, this conference identified the WIs concern around the disproportionate consequences climate change can have for women – this should be a major issue in the Copenhagen talks in December.

Next was a round table discussion at the Equalities and Human Rights Commission on issues of gender in the upcoming Equalities Bill. Then, on to a meeting with Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust – always with a view to adding different activities to our environmental campaigns.

A talk on the Care Not Custody Campaign at the Action for Prisoners’ Families Conference in Birmingham came just before we handed over 1,550 signatures from WI members to Ed Miliband MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, at his office in Whitehall Place. Both he and Minister Joan Ruddock have agreed to speak with the WI in Copenhagen so that our voice can be heard.

And last but by no means least, lunch with the Calendar Girls, original and current theatre cast, at the Women of The Year Awards. What a great event it was, full of inspiring women from all over the UK.

This action packed month has once again made me feel very proud of our great organization and the impact members are having in all parts of today’s society.