The WI has a long history of campaigning on a wide range of issues and at the September meeting of the Freeland WI we enjoyed hearing about some of the high profile national campaigns in which the WI had been very influential.
In the 1990s the WI joined with CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement to become a founding member of the Fairtrade Foundation. The WI was one of the first organisations to talk about AIDS and used its unrivalled network of local organisations to educate the public and get people talking about the issue. In 1975 the WI started informing members about the importance of breast examination and lobbying the government to set up screening clinics. A national screening programme was eventually introduced in 1988. Members were among the first to debate the dangers of smoking when the WI passed a resolution to ban smoking in public places in1964. In1954 a resolution to 'inaugurate a campaign to preserve the countryside against desecration by litter' led to the formation of the Keep Britain Tidy group and was influential in transforming litter policy following the introduction of the 1958 Litter Act. (http://www.thewi.org.uk/campaigns)
Over the past 100 years the WI has been a powerful force for change and the Freeland WI are now set to get involved with or even initiate future campaigns.
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