The ICA’s Gender Equality Committee celebrates this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March 2020 by highlighting how cooperatives are contributing to women’s empowerment.
To mark the anniversary of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UN Women has launched a campaign demanding a gender equal world. Under the hashtag #EachforEqual, this year’s International Women’s Day will aim to show that "an equal world is an enabled world".
Eliminating barriers that hinder gender equality is also a key priority for the International Cooperative Alliance and its member organisations, which campaign for a gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“International Women’s Day represents an unmissable opportunity to mobilise global action to achieve gender equality for all women and girls,” read a statement published by the Gender Equality Committee.
The statement highlights the fact that women who set up or join cooperatives earn more and increase their business performance and competitiveness. Joining cooperatives also increases their decision-making in the household, and improves their participation and empowerment within community affairs.
“Now, it is time for the UN and international development cooperation to increase and prioritise aid directed to those key development actors that strengthen women's economic, social and political empowerment,” it added.
The Committee emphasises that cooperative solutions are an alternative to business as usual in a market economy and can help to achieve the goals of the Leave No One Behind agenda.
“Considering that gender equity is increasingly seen as a pillar for sustainable economic development and broad social wellbeing, people-centered economic models which promote human rights of women and girls at all levels need to be reinforced. Cooperatives can be the tool to reduce the socio-economic injustices faced by women!” added the statement.
ICA members wishing to support the campaign can take it to social media to highlight how their cooperatives are contributing to building a more equal world, using the hashtags #coops4genderquality #coops4women and #EachforEqual.