Third Regional Conference on Status of Women in Cooperatives in Asia-Pacific


9-11 February 2016, Philippines


The ICA-AP will hold the ‘Third Regional Conference on Status of Women in Cooperatives in Asia-Pacific”  in Philippines from 9-11 February 2016. The event will be held in collaboration with the cooperative movement of Philippines to review the situation 10 years after the second conference in 2006 and look ahead to see how gender mainstreaming can be further consolidated in cooperatives. The conference will also make recommendations to the 10th Ministers Conference in Jakarta in April 2016.


All members are cordially invited to participate in the conference through their representatives and expected to present a country paper. A conference paper along with detailed program, agenda and guidelines to present the country paper will be sent out in due course.


Since the 1990s, the International Co-operative Alliance - Asia and the Pacific (ICA-AP) has endeavoured to promote women empowerment and mainstream gender in cooperatives. In May 1997, ICA-AP and the Asian Women in Co-operative Development Forum (AWCF) jointly convened the first Regional Conference on "Women in Decision-Making in Co-operatives," in Tagatay, Philippines. The conference culminated in the "Declaration and Platform of Action for the Enhancement of Women's Participation in Leadership and Decision-Making in Co-operatives," and called on all stakeholders to undertake to enhance women's participation in leadership and decision-making in co-operatives.


Ten years after the first Conference, ICA-AP and AWCF organized the second Regional Conference in Tagatay in November 2006 to review and assess the gains in empowering women in co-operatives within the AP region. The backdrop to the conference was the first data study carried out by ICA-AP in 2005, “Engendering Database in Co-operatives.” The study showed that much work still needed to be done to improve visibility of women and gender integration in co-operatives. The “Declaration and Platform of Action” coming out of the second conference asked co-operatives to focus on education and training; capability building; and development of policies to promote gender mainstreaming and women empowerment. The ICA-AP committee on Women for its part has since organized a number of programs to train, build capacity and sensitize co-operative members and leaders.


In order to assess the status of women in cooperatives, ICA-AP has commissioned the second data study to look at the state of affairs as it relates to participation of women and their role in decision-making in co-operatives. The study will also provide data on the changes that have happened on status of women’s participation in co-operatives since the information was last collected in 2005.


The questionnaires have already been sent out to members  that seeks information on the status of women that are quantitative and qualitative in nature and we have already received quite a few responses. We hope to have the study completed in time for the third Regional Women conference in February. In the final report, we would like to highlight case studies, best practices, innovations and policies as they relate to women in cooperatives and gender. Members are encouraged to share with us any pamphlets/ booklets/ material/ literature of their  Co-operative such as training modules, services especially for women and those as it relates to gender.