Feminism in the 21st century: What does it mean for women cooperators?

13 Oct 2019

Around the world, cooperatives in different sectors are working to promote gender equality in their enterprises and communities.

Some of these case studies were showcased on Saturday 12 October, ahead of the International Cooperative Alliance International Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, during a seminar on cooperatives and feminism in the 21st century. The seminar was organised by the Gender Equality Committee of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA-GEC), which serves as a forum for the discussion and exchange of ideas on issues related to gender equality.

“Feminism defends the principle of equal rights between women and men to achieve a society in which no one is left behind,” said Maria Eugenia Pérez Zea (Colombia), Chair of the committee. She said cooperatives, as enterprises based on a set of values and principles, enable all voices to be heard, and argued that the feminist vision could inspire cooperatives to fully apply their values and principles.

ICA President Ariel Guarco (Argentina) added that in a world that still presents great inequalities when it comes to the role of women in society, “it is fundamental that the cooperative movement generates strategies to facilitate and encourage their participation not only in cooperatives, but also within the public and political life.” The ICA is committed to promoting equality, he said, arguing that feminist movements and cooperatives can work together to drive change.

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