Rules of the ICA Global Women's Committee (1995)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
 Rules of ICA Global Women's Committee (1995)

(Source: ICA Global Women's Committee)

Constitution of the ICA Global Women's Committee

Article 1: Name and Status
1.1 The name shall be International Co-operative Alliance
Global Women's Committee, hereinafter referred to as `ICAGWC'.

1.2 This Committee is constituted as a Specialised Committee 
of the International Co-operative Alliance, hereinafter referred 
to as the `ICA'.

Article 2 : The Vision and the Role of the ICAGWC

2.1	The ICAGWC vision is of a Co-operative Movement and Societies
led by women and men, and based upon both women's and men's
definitions of democracy, development and welfare. Gender Integration 
in the Co-operative Movement and Societies is defined as the reality 
whereby women's and men's values, skills and contributions are valued 
equally and where the organisation of work and decision-making 
structures are based on women's needs and values as well as those 
of men. The realisation of this vision will not only make the Co-operative
Movement and Societies truly democratic, but also stronger and more successful.


2.2	The ICAGWC is a forum for the discussion and the exchange of
experiences and ideas of world-wide co-operative women's issues and
questions. It is a catalyst for the implementation of the Vision and 
the aims and objectives as set out in Article 3. It also acts as 
a catalyst to ensure Gender Awareness, Gender Planning and Gender 
integration within the Co-operative Movement are given the highest
priority by all Member Organisations.

2.3	The ICAGWC shall facilitate the establishment of Regional
Women's Committees, hereinafter referred to as `ICARWC's' as well as
encouraging and promoting them. These Committees shall cover
geographical areas in accordance with the ICA Regional Structure. The
ICARWCs shall be forums for the exchange of experiences and ideas, and
the discussion of co-operative women's issues at the Regional level.

2.4	The ICAGWC shall encourage ICARWCs, who wish to do so, to
submit their Constitutions to the ICAGWC for ratification.

2.5	Where appropriate, the ICAGWC shall liaise with Regional Gender

Article 3 : The Aims of the ICAGWC

3.1 The ICAGWC shall promote the aims and objects of the ICA as laid 
down in the Rules and in particular shall direct its efforts towards women 
and for women.

3.2. It shall promote the interests of women in every aspect of Co-operative 
activity, including Co-operative development:-

   through encouraging worldwide and regional discussion on issues relating 
   to the equality between women and men;

    and through initiating positive actions and specific measures to 
    achieve equality between women and men.

3.3 It shall ecourage women to actively participate in the policy-making 
and managemnt of all co-opratives:-

    through establishing contacts with women co-operators and, where 
    available, women's co-operative organiations in all countries;

    through promoting and endorsing equal opportunities within ICA 
    member organisations;

    and through influencing and collaborating with appropriate ICA 
    Committees and ICA member organisations.

3.4 It shall advise the ICA and Member organisations on equality issues :-

    by having a member of the ICAGWC Executive Committee on the 
    General Assembly in accordance with the Rules of the ICA (Article24):

    by having the right to participate at Regional Assemblies;

    and by being consulted by the ICA Head Office, ICA Regional 
    Offices and ICA member organisations.

3.5 It shall demand that Co-opeartives provide more efficient services 
and facilities designed for the benefit of women. It shall call on 
Co-operatives to promote realigned gender roles in the family and the 
workplace. Furthermore, it shall urge Co-operatives to use their influence
within the community to secure collective welfare and social services 
which meet women's needs and foster shared responsabilities within
the family, labour market and society.

3.6 It shall initiate and where possible co-ordinate educational and 
research activities which have particular relevance to women co-operators:-

   by pursuing research into policies which promote realigned gender
   roles in the workplace and family;

   by encouraging initiatives for training and research in co-operative
   organisations at national, regional and global level; and

   by organising educational and training activities for women 
   through appropriate means, ie seminars and courses in collaboration 
   with co-operative and other institutions.

3.7	On behalf of the ICA, it shall represent the interests of women to
other international co-operative or non co-operative organisations, and shall
collaborate with governmental and non-governmental agencies for women's
affairs. In particular, it shall collaborate with the United Nations and its
specialised agencies and other international non-governmental organisations
as appropriate.

3.8	It shall, funds permitting, publish information and results of the
work of the ICAGWC through reports, press releases and other appropriate

3.9 It shall contribute to the achievement of unity of action by 
Co-operators throughout the world.

3.10	It shall strengthen the efforts of women in the promotion of lasting
peace and security.

Article 4 : Membership of the ICAGWC

4.1	Each Organisation which is a member of the ICA shall be eligible to
nominate women co-operators, whether elected representatives or
employees, for membership of the ICAGWC, provided the nominating
organisation recognises the Rules of ICAGWC.

4.2	Each Organisation shall, every fourth year, be invited to nominate
members, for approval by the ICAGWC at the next Annual Global Meeting.
The term of office shall be four years.

4.3	Application forms shall be submitted to the Secretary at least six
weeks before the Annual Meeting. New members can be nominated
approved every year.

4.4	Any prospective member of the ICAGWC whose application is not
accepted, or any member who is asked to leave the ICAGWC, has the right
of appeal at the Annual Global Meeting at which the decision is taken, or at
the next Annual Global Meeting of the ICAGWC.

4.5	Hereinafter `member' or `members' shall refer to the appointed
members of the ICAGWC as individuals, not nominating organisation,
unless otherwise stated.

Article 5 : Elections

5.1 The ICAGWC shall be governed by the members attending the
Annual Global Meetings.

5.2 The members shall elect a Chairwoman, two Vice-Chairwomen and 
four other members to serve on the Executive Committee. The term of 
the office shall be four years.

5.3 The Election of ONE Vice-Chairwomen and TWO members of the
 Exective Committee shall take place every second Annual Global Meeting 
to ensure continuity. Re-election shall be permitted.

5.4 Notice of elections will be included in the Agenda and documentation
 for the relevent meeting.

5.5 Election of Officers shall be by simple majority of those Member Organisations
attending the meeting at which the elections are held. Each Member Organisation shall
have one vote. In the event of a tie, lots will be drawn, or some other methods agreed by
the meeting shall be used.

5.6 Members of the Executive Committee shall be elected as individuals, 
not as members of their nominating Organisations. However, no nominating
Organisation may have more than one appointed member elected to the Exective 
Committee at any one time.

Article 6 : The Exective Committee

6.1 The Executive Committee of the ICAGWC shall consist of the elected Global 
Chairwoman, the two elected Vice Chairwomen and such members as elected by
 the members attending the Annual Global Meeting, in accordance with clause 5.2.

6.2 The Chairwoman of ICARWCs whose constitutions have been ratified
(clause 2.4) may also be members of the Executive Committee.

6.3 Should a member of the Executive Committee resign, the Executive 
Committee may co-opt a member of the ICAGWC to fill the vacancy 
until the next election is held.

6.4 The Executive Committee shall implement the objectives of the 
ICAGWC and report progress to the Annual Global Meeting and 
by any other means at their disposal.

6.5 The Executive Committee shall meet at least twice a year upon 
invitation of the Chairwoman. One of these meetings will be in 
conjuction with the Annual Global Meeting. Any other member of the 
Executive Committee can request additional meetings.

Article 7 :  Global Meetings
7.1	A meeting of the Members of the ICAGWC shall be convened once
a year, in conjunction with the General Assembly, and in alternate years, a
Regional Assembly, if practicable. Extraordinary Members' meetings shall
be convened at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

7.2	Member Organisations shall be entitled to send any number of
appointed members to the Annual Global Meeting. All members of the
ICAGWC have the right to take the floor. Observers may attend subject to
the prior approval of the Executive Committee, and may take the floor at the
discretion of the Chairwoman. Regional Chairwomen may attend as
Observes if not already an appointed member of the ICAGWC.

7.3	Each member organisation shall have one vote at the Annual Global
Meeting and decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of those Member
organisations in attendance. The Global Chairwoman shall have a casting
vote, except in elections (see clause 5.5).

7.4	The function of the Annual Global Meeting shall be to discuss and
approve the future working programme of the ICAGWC and, where
applicable, to elect the Global Chairwoman and Executive Committee.

Article 8 : Secretariat
8.1	The Secretary of the ICAGWC shall be responsible for:

i.	Convening all meetings, preparing agendas and supporting

ii.	Taking and producing Minutes of meetings of the ICAGWC;

iii.	Liaising with the ICA Secretariat in Geneva on Gender Issues;

iv.	Publicising the work of the ICAGWC, where financial resources

v.	Other operational and administrative work of the ICAGWC;

vi.	Any other duties delegated by the Global Chairwoman, Executive
      Committee or Annual Global Meeting.

8.2	The working language of the Secretariat is English. Members are
responsible for the translation of all papers into their own languages.

Article 9 : Amendment to the Rules
Amendment to the Rules require a two-thirds majority of those member
organisations attending the Annual Global Meeting.

Article 10 : Dissolution

The ICAGWC may be dissolved by a decision of TWO consecutive
Annual Global Meetings. A three-quarters majority of those members
attending and eligible to vote shall be required on each occasion.