Gender Integration (1998)
(Source: ICA in Asia and the Pacific -Annual Report 1997, pp.8)
The Regional Office believes that Gender Integration and improved women's participation is of utmost importance to the development and sustainability of Co-operative movements and the society as a whole.
Towards this goal, the Regional Office has initiated and restructured all its activities.
During the year 1997, the major efforts were in activating a Co-operative Leadership Training for Women and organising national level women fora in member countries to precede a proposed Regional Women's Forum in Seoul, Korea in October, 1998.
The ICA Regional Office has been successful in its negotiations with the ILO Coopnet during March 1997 to involve them in joint activities in co-operative women leadership training.
The ILO collaborated and participated in the organisation of a Regional Workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during December, 1997, to identify the needs and target groups and to chalk out a strategy to develop such activities.
The regional preparatory workshop in Kuala Lumpur identified the target groups, the needs and charted out a strategy to implement. The ICA hopes to appoint a consultant to prepare a Leadership Development Training Manual for Women Co-operative Leaders soon and the draft manual is expected to be ready by July/August 1998, when another Regional Workshop will be held to discuss and approve the draft.
The final manual will be published and sent to all ICA Regional member organisations by the end of next year. This is an equal-participation programme between ILO Coopnet and the ICA ROAP.
Earlier, during May 1997, the ICA was involved in a joint activity with the Asian Women in Co-operative Development Forum (AWCF) in organising a Regional Conference on Women in Decision Making in Co-operatives held at Tagaytay City, Philippines, which was a success.
More than 100 women and men from co-operatives and related organisations participated at this workshop. A declaration entitled, `Tagaytay Declaration' and a `Platform for Action' were drawn out.
It was one of the major recommendations of the Tagaytay Conference to conduct women leadership training in the Region.
The Gender Integration Project has also been active in persuading national co-operative organisations in member countries to organise national women's fora.
It is expected that several national women's fora will be held and a few more will follow early 1998, prior to the Regional Women's Forum in Seoul in October, 1998.
Ms. Yukiko Yamamoto, the Gender Programme Advisor, is the Secretary to the ICA Regional Women's Committee and coordinates and supports the activities of that committee.
During the year, the Regional Women's Committee (Protem) has been able to draft out its Constitution, through efforts of its Chairperson Senator Hjh.Rahaiah Baharen of Malaysia, Ms. Leelavati Prasad of India (Vice Chairperson), Ms. Nargis Rashid of Pakistan (Vice Chairperson) and its current committee members, which was approved by the ICA Regional Executive Council.
The Committee will formally elect its office bearers in its meeting to be held in Seoul in October 1998.
ICA member organisations in the region are requested to nominate at-least one member each to the Regional Women's Committee.
The Committee is actively involved in the preparations for the Regional Women's Forum in 1998.
The ANGKASA, Malaysia, the JCCU, and several other member organisations have been actively supporting the Gender Integration Project, especially on the Regional Women's Committee activities.
The project since its inception has been financially supported by the Japanese Consumers Co-operative Union (JCCU).