What is the WI?
The Women’s Institute (WI) is the largest women's organisation in Britain, with around 205,000 members throughout England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
The WI is an educational, social, non-party political and non-sectarian organisation, offering women the opportunity of learning, campaigning, friendship and sharing - not just in traditional interests such as arts and crafts but also in the latest developments in IT, health and fitness and science.
It aims to offer women the best opportunity to make an impact in their communities, to influence local, national and world issues affecting the social, economic and environmental life of families and communities, and to learn traditional and new skills.
The purpose of the WI is to encourage and enable women:
~ to enhance their lives and to play their part in the community through education and public questions.
~ to improve their lives and the lives of those around them.
~ to lead fulfilling lives and to be of value in the community and nationally to influence policy/decision makers.
~ to provide a friendly atmosphere where women can be inspired and enlightened.
Women’s Institutes were originally based exclusively in rural areas, but now exist wherever there is a need. Each institute is self-governing within the framework of the WI Constitution and Rules. Women’s Institutes are grouped to form 70 county and island federations, each with a regional office, and Shadforth WI is part of Durham County Federation of Women’s Institutes. Each WI has charitable status.
For general information on the 21st century role of the WI in Britain please see the main WI website at: