When WI members were asked in January to choose which resolution they would like to go forward to be mandated this year there was no doubt at all which one had the most voices behind it.
Every two hours in the UK a woman dies of ovarian cancer. The signs in the early stages, when it can be treated effectively, are subtle though and public understanding of the symptoms is really important.
This is where the WI, as an educational charity, can make a difference to so many people. The resolution is a call to increase our awareness of those subtle symptoms and to do something about them. Things like feeling bloated all the time, a swollen tummy, discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area, feeling full quickly or loss of appetite and needing to pee more often. When it’s diagnosed early 9 out of 10 women survive for 5 years or more.
Women need to have the confidence to discuss the symptoms early enough with their GP and to press for further investigation. Our wonderful NHS can and will deal with it but only if we tell them clearly what the symptoms are and what we would like investigated.
This month all our WIs will be discussing the resolution before casting their vote as a WI in early July*. If it is passed we can start to really campaign: to discuss it among ourselves and our women friends and join with charities like Target Ovarian Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Action to get the message out. 200,000 members can make a lot of noise!
Suffolk East Federation Trustee
The resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority.*