Women and decision making - A successful regional conference in the Phillipines (1997)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
July, 1997
(Source: Asia-Pacific Co-op News, Vol.4, No.2, Apr-June 1997, pp.3)

Women and Decision Making : A successful
Regional Conference in the Philippines

Women and decision-making in co-operatives was the theme of a
successful May 7 to 9 conference co-sponsored by ICA ROAP and the
Asian Women in Cooperative Development Forum, held in Tagatay City,
Philippines.  Over 100 people from 15 countries participated.

The situation of women in co-operatives internationally and in the Asia
Pacific was explored.  Participants discussed ways to increase women's
participation in co-operative decision-making.

The conference set a regional goal for 2005, "To achieve an increase in
women's representation on the Board of Directors of at least 40 per cent
at the primary co-operative level, and 25 per cent at the national level, and
also increase at least 50 per cent at the management level."

The event was a crowning achievement for outgoing ICA ROAP Gender
Programme Advisor, Akiko Yamauchi.  Ms. Yamauchi wrote in her final
mission report, "The conference gave us accurate ideas and actions to
increase women leaders and women's participation in decision-making in
co-operatives at all levels.  I want to emphasise that the conference created
a quite innovative vision of leadership and goals, which I want all the co-
operative leaders to consider how to practice."

Men also participated, some relating their own experiences on becoming
sensitive to gender issues.  This discussion was one of the most successful
of the conference, said incoming Gender Programme Advisor Yukiko
Yamamoto.  "We should recognise men's perspective as well as women's,"
said Yamamoto.  "Together we can take down barriers for women."

Yamamoto said the results of the conference will help her plan the
Regional Women's Forum, to be held in Seoul, Korea in 1998, in
conjunction with the next ICA Regional Assembly.