“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
- Message from the United Nations Secretary-General in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish
- Message from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in English, French, and Spanish
- Message from the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in Basque, English, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish
- Message from the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP)
- Message from the International Labour Office (ILO)
Information on cooperatives and women
Videos on women’s empowerment through co-operatives
- Ghana: Divine Chocolate : Empowerment for women (Kuapa Kokoo cocoa growers’ co-operative)
- Honduras: Cooperativa Mixta Mujeres Unidas Ltda. (COMIXMUL)
- Sri Lanka: The Women’s Co-op: Celebrating 20 Years!
- Promising Practices: How co-operatives work for working women in Africa
- New wave of cooperatives in Cameroon help HIV-positive women gain economic independence (February 2010)
- Rwanda: Investing in the empowerment of women in business (September 2009)
- ICA and the Beijing Conference: Statements, reports and other informational resources
- International Co-operative Alliance Gender Equality Committee