The WI came to this country as a concept from Canada. It was aimed at providing women with educational opportunities and a chance to build new skills, take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them.
Today the WI takes an active interest in domestic, national and international issues and help women's groups in poorer countries to become self supporting.
The institutes were originally village based but now there are many being formed in towns. Institutes are grouped in Federations, ours being North Yorkshire East.
The Federation tries to cater for as many individual tastes as possible as well as being part of a national group. Our members have strong views on many issues and we try to influence our national life through resolutions that are debated annually at the National Federation annual meeting.
WI campaigns are about changing things for the better and tackling the issues that matter to members. Members are at the heart of the WI and they play a central role in bringing issues onto the WI's national agenda through our public affairs and campaigning.
From equal pay to climate change, from gaps in the midwifery workforce to the plight of the honey bee, WI members have embraced a diverse set of challenges and built a reputation for the WI as a practical and ambitious organisation that doesn't shy away from tricky issues.
The WI passed a resolution calling for 'equal pay for equal work' in 1943 and was represented for many years on the Equal Pay Campaign Committee.
In 1986 the NFWI 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.
Barkston Ash WI welcomes everyone and for those not sure if it is for them we encourage you to attend a couple of meetings to get a taste of what is on offer.
For those wanting to join the membership fee for 2019 is £39.00.
In addition to our regular programme (see below) we have other activities such as meals out and visits to theatres and open gardens.
Meeting are held on the second Thursday of the month and begin at 7.15pm in the Village Hall.
Our programme for the current year is:
10th January Music, Comedy, Dance Duncan Verity
14th February Writing my first novel Olivia Rytwinski
14th March Armchair walk around York Chris Poulton
11th April Yorkshire stories Chris Whitfield
9th May The laughing gardener Paul Robinson
Selby Ukelele group
13th June Flower demonstration Michelle’s Florist Castleford
11th july Gardens of the world Bob Masefield
August No meeting
12th September Talk subject TBC Yvonne Whalley
14th September VILLAGE SHOW
10th October Murder Mystery The committee
14th November Annual meeting
12th December Christmas party