Introduction

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   This document has been made available in electronic format
           by the International Co-operative Alliance.
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                ILO - ICA Training Package 

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              GENDER ISSUES IN COOPERATIVES:  
                 AN ILO - ICA PERSPECTIVE
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            2 Hours on Gender Issues in Cooperatives:
 An introductory session on gender issues for cooperative leaders

                       Introduction

The contents of the package
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This the package contains a sensitization module with
accompanying transparencies and additional information material
for the trainer/moderator. The package also contains a poster
which can be displayed in order to promote the sensitization
session and leaflets which can be distributed to participants
after the session.

Objective
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Participants are sensitized to gender issues and understand the
need for gender integration in cooperative HRD.

Outputs/activities
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*    Participants examine and reflect on the traditional roles
     of women and men and division of labour in their community,
     society, cooperative sector or organization.

*    Participants understand why women should participate in
     cooperative development as equal partners with equal
     opportunities and treatment. 

*    Participants are made aware of the need for women's
     increased access to cooperative training and education and
     access to decision-making levels.

*    Participants have an understanding of the concept gender
     and of gender analysis and planning.

Target
------
The main target group of the package is cooperative leaders and
policy-makers. However, it is hoped that the package will serve
as a source of inspiration and continued interest in gender
issues for the users (trainers or moderators) who may not have
dealt directly with gender issues prior to this training session.

The trainer/moderator
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The person in charge of the course should be a trainer or
moderator with good knowledge of cooperatives or similar
organizations.

Equipment and facilities needed for the session
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Equipment:         An over-head projector. If not available
                   this can be replaced by a flipchart and
                   markers or a blackboard. A poster is also
                   included.

Facilities:        The room should be arranged for discussions
                   so that the participants can see each
                   other's faces without obstructing the view
                   to the screen or blackboard.

Planning the session
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The trainer/moderator should:

*    study the contents of the module, and, if possible collect
     the necessary gender-related data and statistics from the
     relevant country or countries and cooperative sector.    
     (A checklist to assist in the collection of relevant data
     is included on page 7 of the module);

*    prepare the session (preferably after having identified the
     actual participants and assessing their exposure to gender
     issues, if this is possible. If not, this can be done at
     the beginning of the session).

Duration of the session
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The training session is estimated to last for approximately two
hours.

Context of the session
----------------------
It is envisaged that 2-hour gender-sensitization sessions can be
held in connection with training seminars or workshops. Short
gender sessions can also be held or as part of larger conferences
or meetings for cooperative leaders and policy makers.

Approach and method
-------------------
The module contains relevant information on gender-related issues
and is meant to give ideas and inspiration to a qualified trainer
to enable him/her to prepare a 2 hour introductory session on
gender issues in cooperatives. Two hours is, of course, an
extremely short time in which to "sensitize" cooperative leaders
to gender issues, and too short for the participants to properly
"digest" the newly acquired knowledge. However, the session
should provide cooperative leaders and policy makers with some
food for thought and this in itself can be considered a step in
the right direction. 

The success of the session will much depend on the
trainer's/moderator's approach. Generally speaking, the more
actively involved participants are in the sessions the better,
since gender is a 'live concept'. Ideally therefore, if the
trainer/moderator has more time, the participants should be
encouraged to draw on their own real life experiences - from
their homes, the community or the workplace. Participants could
also be challenged to re-value the roles of women in the
workplace/community, or, for instance, of everybody in the
household. For the ultimate aim of gender approaches is to
improve the quality of family life and life in general.

Similarly, the trainer/moderator may wish to select certain
sections/topics to elaborate or concentrate on, depending on the
target group. The main idea is, however, that the
trainer/moderator is able to stimulate enough interest in gender
issues among the group that they continue to reflect over gender
issues after the session and are motivated to apply gender-
sensitive approaches in their working environment.

It is suggested that the poster included in the package is used
to promote the sensitization session. The poster can be displayed
on a notice board or outside the meeting room.

Each of the three illustrated transparencies in this package
represents one of the three regions: Africa, Asia or Latin
America. The illustrations depict the same motives as on the
poster and can be used by the trainer/moderator during the
session when deemed appropriate. When and where to display the
other text transparencies is otherwise indicated in the module,
but the trainer/moderator can design the session according to
his/her own use. 

Topics covered in the module
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(1)  Personal perception of gender issues including gender roles
     and the concept of women's "double day". 

(2)  Women's position in society in general and in cooperatives
     in particular. Statistics on the actual situation in the
     country/sector/institution concerned would be an advantage
     if these can be provided by the trainer or moderator. This
     would then clearly illustrate the relevance of the issues
     and the existing imbalances. A checklist is included in the
     package to assist the moderator in the collection of
     relevant gender-specific data/statistics.

(3)  The importance of gender integration in cooperatives and
     the benefits of promoting women's enhanced participation.
     How to involve women in cooperative development in general,
     and in decision-making and managerial positions in
     cooperatives in particular. 

(4)  Background information for the trainer/moderator:
     Additional information on gender awareness, gender analysis
     and planning. If the trainer/moderator is not familiar with
     these concepts, this section will be useful for him/her.
     Although this section is not part of the two-hour session,
     the trainer/moderator may wish to include some of the
     information given here in the training session.