Women's Institute rallies to tackle climate change pickle

by GreenWire.org.uk. Published Thu 14 May 2009 13:45, Last updated: 2009-05-14
WI to tackle climate change pickle

They have taken on the stereotypes without sacrificing their jam recipes, but now the indomitable members of the Women's Institute have a new adversary – climate change.

In recent years, the ladies of the WI has been marching steadily into the modern world. There was the launch in March of the first university branch in London, rejecting preserves and Jerusalem in favour of sushi and indie music. The latest knitting pattern for members nationwide is for an iPod sock. And it’s a decade since 11 women of the Rylstone WI in North Yorkshire bared all for the world’s most famous – and unlikely – nude calendar.

Now with the launch this week of the Women and Climate Change campaign, they have turned their no-nonsense attentions to the biggest issue of the 21st century. And they don’t intend to let global warming – or apathetic politicians – stand in their way.

Alongside the fairtrade chocolate cake recipe offered to members this month is an action pack calling on the women of the WI to bombard Ed Miliband with campaign postcards and arrange local screenings of the Institute’s own climate change film, A World Without Jam.

The 11-minute film features a number of members – from traditional stalwarts to younger, urban representatives – discussing the efforts they have made to go green and their responsibility to future generations.

Campaign organisers also suggest that women set up awareness-raising ‘Climate and Cake’ stalls in their towns and villages.

In a rallying cry that might surprise Ministers, they demand: “We call on the Government to follow where the WI has led and support the work of women in tackling climate change.”

“This campaign is about leadership, letting the Government know that we in the WI continue to be leaders in our communities and that we expect them to be the same on a national level.”

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