FAQs

Why can’t WI members campaign on every issue that interests them?

The NFWI is unable to campaign on everything that members may be interested in because there must already be existing mandate on the topic within the organisation's campaign history.  Every issue that WI members work on stems from an existing mandate that has been debated throughout the membership, and then voted on at the AGM.  Every campaign topic in the WI's 97 year history is decided using this unique democratic framework, which ensures local WI members have the opportunity to set the direction of the national organisation's policy and campaigns.

If a member would like to campaign on a topic, they should follow the resolutions process outlined here to propose it as an area of concern for the entire organisation.  An outline of current campaign topics that the NFWI is working on with the weight of entire membership can be found here.

Whilst the NFWI is unable to sign petitions where we have no existing mandate, WI members are free to add their individual support, and the NFWI is always open to hearing from other related campaign groups who believe that their mission may fit within the WI's remit, or that members will be keen to get involved.

Who founded the UK WI?

Why was the organisation called the Women's Institute?

Has there ever been another Women’s Institute and what were its intentions?

What is the link with the Canadian WI?

Do NFWI staff vote on issues decided by the Board of Trustees?

I’ve read about these long-serving WI Presidents and it rather puts me off getting on the committee. Can I serve for one year only?

Why is the NFWI headquarters in London?

Why is the term ‘Chair’ being used instead of ‘Chairman’ at National level?

Is the Charity Commission happy dealing with thousands of individual WIs as charities? Would it prefer dealing with just one national WI charity?

What are the 'Objects' of the NFWI?

Why are men not allowed to join the WI?

I can’t believe that in this day and age the WI is allowed to have only female members? Have men ever demanded their right to join?

Why are there men working for the WI?

Why can’t women, persuaded to join the WI at exhibitions or shows, pay their joining fee there and then?

The WI is still largely white middle class, is anything being done to attract women of different ethnicities?

I’m a new WI member and find the administration rather unnecessary—why can’t we have meetings without ‘WI business’?

Is there such a thing as an honorary member?

Why can’t members join the NFWI as opposed the WI?

Why can’t I join the WI Online?

What is the Jam Connection?

When and where was Blake’s Jerusalem first sung by the WI?

Why was Jerusalem chosen as the WI’s anthem?

Why does the WI sing Jerusalem?

Why is WI Life so biased towards southern federations? Is it because they’re easier to get to from your London HQ?

Why are there so many advertising inserts in my copy of WI Life?

Why have we lost the name Home & Country from the membership magazine?

Why have you chosen to print our names and addresses directly on to WI Life’s plastic wrapper, which cannot be shredded?

Where can I find an attractive poster to help WIs advertise both the organisation and the local WI branch? Does such a resource exist?

Have there been any royal members of the WI?

Contact the NFWI

  • Phone: 020 7371 9300
  • Open hours: 9am–5pm Mon–Fri
  • Address: 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY

Or fill in the contact form... to email a specific department