Saturday June 19 2021



In Full . . .


Posted on January 30 2017 at 11:29:57

Almost 80 women turned out for the inaugural meeting of Barnt Green Women’s Institute in January – quite a success for any new venture.

From memory, there used to be two WIs in Barnt Green, but they disappeared some time ago; perhaps because the perception of the organisation at that time was putting off younger women, maybe because women just didn’t have enough time as two incomes became a necessity to afford rocketing house prices, or perhaps because there had been an increase in other things for them to get involved with?

They are back in Barnt Green now, and with a bang! We wonder what has changed besides the fresh appeal of the WI since the Calendar Girls phenomenon and a long-revitalised, campaigning organisation that has recently celebrated its centenary.

Is there a sense, a feeling out there, that women are wanting to get organised in the face of decisions being made and changes being forced on society which could be detrimental to them and their children, as well as to the rights of many other people?

The sight of gloating men in blazers telling everyone to calm down and let them get on with dismantling structures that have been carefully and painfully put in place over the past 70 years to maintain as much peace as possible across our continent, as well as the whole of the world, might be enough on its own to bring women together.

The sight of such a man, but supersized as only an American can be, sworn in as President of the USA was enough to bring one million people to march in protest through the streets of Washington, DC.

They were joined by more than one million other marchers in cities across America and hundreds of thousands more in 20 countries around the globe.

This was a Women’s March, organised by and mainly populated by women, supported by their husbands, partners, fathers, brothers and sons.

It was a near-spontaneous reaction by women to the fear that hard-won rights for them and for many minority groups are at risk of being rolled back. And it was far bigger than anyone expected.

Are we pushing the boundaries of interpolation to link a growing interest in village women’s groups with the global shudder running through people who care about the lives of everyone, not just their own, and are interested in the welfare of all people, not just their own little, or large, nation?

Perhaps, but in these troubling times any glimmers of light that may illuminate the dark corners of selfishness that threaten to spread shadows over the rest of the world are to be welcomed and nurtured.

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