ICA Asia and Pacific Committee on Women to mark 25th anniversary with Tokyo event

A booklet is also being released, featuring case studies of exemplary work on gender equality within the co-op sector

The ICA Asia and Pacific Committee on Women celebrates its 25th anniversary in Tokyo on 19-20 September with an event hosted by the Japanese Consumers’ Co-operative Union (JCCU).

The hybrid event, Gender Equality for a Brighter Future, brings together committee members, women co-op leaders from different countries, ICA Asia and Pacific representatives, ICA members and co-operators from Japan, stakeholders from international organisations such as UN Women, and Japanese government officials. In-person participants can also to join a field visit to co-ops in Tokyo arranged by the JCCU. 

Set up in 1998, in Seoul, South Korea, the committee works to promote gender inclusion and equality in co-ops in the Asia and Pacific region. Activities include seminars on promoting women’s participation and empowerment in the co-operative sector, initiatives to integrate women and gender concerns in co-operatives, and making recommendations at the Asia-Pacific Ministers’ Conferences.

Between 1998 and 2023, the committee held 13 statutory meetings, and 11 Regional Women’s Forums, workshops, conferences, and seminars; participated in seven Asia-Pacific Ministers’ Conferences; conducted 18 trainings of trainers; and published two regional research studies on gender-disaggregated data in co-operatives, two manuals and a resource guide for training on women’s leadership development.

It also works closely with international organisations such as the Swedish Cooperative Center (known as the We Effect), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Asian Women in Cooperative Development Forum (AWCF), and ICA member organisations in the region. 

The committee is also releasing a booklet featuring case studies of exemplary work on gender equality within the co-operative sector across the Asia and Pacific region and perspectives in the context of governance and law.

The event will serve as a platform to engage in critical reflections on how the committee can steer its direction in the future, and identify priority areas and calls for action for the future.