Thursday, 5 May 2011

WI Life guest editors, what you might learn with the WI and the resolution process

This week I received my copy of WI Life and it was just as I hoped it would be: full of superb articles and features, as well as photographs to drool over. I must say I was very happy to hand over my column to Jenny, Storm, Judy and Pauline, the magazine's Guest Editors for the May/June issue. Congratulations to these four members from Sandon WI in Staffordshire, and also to the home team of WI Life who all took up the challenge such an edition presented with aplomb. Such a copy of WI Life could be yours when you join the WI.

There is no end to what you might learn with the WI. I have always been intrigued by how my mother (also a WI member) can make gloves; not something I assume many folk do very often these days. It was a skill she learned through classes given by the WI when she first joined the organisation in 1950, just at the time when ‘The Country Wife’ mural was being assembled for the Great Exhibition of 1951. Housed in the WI's Denman College until very recently, the mural, which features examples of a myriad number of handicrafts, displays an exquisite and tiny pair of gloves, proving once again that the WI is and always has been of its time.

The same must be said of the WI's resolution process. A resolution is a briefly worded request, on any chosen subject, put forward by a WI or a federation and, if voted on and adopted by two thirds of the membership when debated at an AGM, becomes a mandate upon which all of the WI may work to achieve its goal. Votes on the resolution are cast by a whole WI, which will have discussed the issue, usually and hopefully with input from experts, both for and against the motion. Once the WI has voted either for or against the motion, one member – the link delegate – will attend the AGM, taking with her the votes of four WIs including her own. It is hoped and expected that each WI will also grant their link delegate a discretionary vote on a resolution, having heard further arguments on both sides of the issue at the AGM from more eminent experts in the given field. At every stage, the process is led entirely by WI members – submission, selection from a long list, selection from a short list and adoption or not at the final vote; it is true democracy in action.

Join the WI and get you voice heard.