2010 International Day of Cooperatives


“Cooperative enterprise empowers women”
“La empresa cooperativa empodera a la mujeres”
“L’entreprise coopérative autonomise les femmes”


The theme highlighted how the cooperative model of enterprise can successfully empower women. It links to the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action (Beijing+15), which sets out an agenda for women’s empowerment.

Cooperatives have a key role to play as they are able to respond to both women’s practical and strategic needs. Whether it be through women only cooperatives or cooperatives made up of women and men, they offer an effective organisational means for women members and employees to raise their living standards by accessing decent work opportunities, savings and credit facilities, health, housing and social services, and education and training. Cooperatives also offer women opportunities for participation in and influence over economic activities. Women gain self-reliance and self-esteem through this participation. Cooperatives also contribute to the improvement of the economic, social, and cultural situations of women through, by example, promoting equality and changing institutional biases.

Messages from members

Information on cooperatives and women

Videos on women’s empowerment through co-operatives

Other resources