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One of the key strategies to achieve high number in participation among women in cooperative is to build knowledge and skills in technical areas, business management, and cooperative governance, as well as investing in women’s leadership skills. Most members were supportive of training on gender equality. It’s important to provide members, especially women, the learning opportunities via networking, exchange visits, and mentoring programs. In addition to that, cooperatives need to support women’s participation and strengthening women’s committees by establishing and managing new business activities, as well as ensuring oversight of existing policies on equity and non-discrimination among members. Access to finance, diversification in production and value chains, and marketing skills need to be regarded as essential components of women’s economic empowerment through cooperatives.




o increase the participation among women in cooperative, the sector needs to conduct outreach and recruitment campaigns to reach new women members. Women’s committees could be engaged to support recruitment efforts. It’s vital to wider community level dialogue about women’s rights and economic empowerment to support efforts within a cooperative or simply to address household-level dynamics, which prohibit some women from joining a cooperative. Creating incentives for women to join and incentivizing cooperatives to be more inclusive of women should work as well, and most importantly, having more women representative in cooperatives. 


Within these arenas, the following have all been considered:

  • Women’s Empowerment : Overcoming social and cultural barriers that hinders women’s progression towards challenging the status quo and achieving equality in economic rights.
  • Opportunity to fill in leadership roles (e.g., to participate in policy making processes by reflecting their views); and
  • Psychological well-being (e.g., self-esteem, self-efficacy, awareness of injustices, and ability to mobilise to support women collectively).


Across Asia Pacific, external challenges including state policies and laws, and social and cultural norms create barriers to women’s full engagement in co-operatives or gender equality being actualised. To date, only 1.8% of leadership posts in Malaysian cooperatives are secured by women; whereas Malaysia National Cooperative Policy that seeks to have at least 30% of women involvement in the cooperative leadership posts.


To overcome these challenges, experts have provided several recommendations that we could look into during our discussion;

  • To work to overcome cultural and structural barriers for women.
  • Cooperatives can work to address gender equality and women’s empowerment by setting gender equality strategies or gender equality plans of action. Tracking and measurement mechanisms need to be in place to capture progress on
  • commitments to actions.
  • To provide women in emerging and marginalised cooperatives with financial and technical support.
  • Women’s participation in cooperatives is on the rise. At the same time, leadership positions and decision-making roles for women in cooperatives continue to be far under gender parity.
  • The cooperative sectors institutional leaders will model gender parity and require members to meet and exceed cooperative/industry standards through policies and awareness-raising
  • The consumer cooperative sector provides support and potential viable employment to some of the most vulnerable women; however, these economic opportunities tend to be in the most undervalued and exploited sectors – domestic services, handicrafts and childcare.


Women in emerging and marginalised co-operatives, especially in the majority world, but also within newcomer, minority, and other potentially vulnerable populations are, in comparison to their male counterparts, are more likely to have less access to: education; training in business or management; and supports in the form of tools and resources.

Relatedly, women in these contexts have lower self-esteem and lower perceived self-efficacy in relation to achieving their employment goals.


Date and venue

The webinar will be held on 8th March 2023 through Zoom Platform Meeting



Who can participate?

This webinar is open to all cooperators, individuals, businesses and government agencies that are based in Malaysia, South East Asia and the entire Asia Pacific region.



The individual registration forms complete with all the details should reach the organisers on or before 28th February 2023.

There is no registration fee for the webinar.




Event start date:
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Event end date:
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Venue: Zoom Meeting