Every 8 March, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world. The first event was held in Chicago in 1908 before the idea spread to Europe where, in 1910, an International Women’s Conference was held in Copenhagen.
Today IWD is a celebration of the achievements of women, but also an opportunity to highlight, examine and address the struggle of women worldwide and the ongoing fight for genuine gender equality.
Co-operatives have traditionally been an area of progressive opportunity for women. Co-ops gave UK women the vote 88 years before parliament legislated for universal suffrage for general elections – and internationally, co-operative enterprises have provided positive environments for women, ensuring greater opportunities, support and safe working conditions.
In the run up to IWD 2014, we met some valuable co-operatives set up by and for women and spoke to a number of inspirational women who are leading by example at some prominent co-operatives.