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Seminar / forum
ICA Asia and Pacific Committee on Women
12th Asia and Pacific Regional Women’s Forum

Date: Tuesday, 7 November 2023
Time: 11.00 am – 12.30 pm (PHT)
Facilitator: Ms. Simren Singh, Secretary Venue: Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria

Title: Women Cooperators in the Future

2023 marks the 25th year of the ICA Asia and Pacific Committee on Women. On September 19, 2023, the Women’s Committee celebrated its 25th anniversary. The theme of the anniversary celebrations was ‘Gender Equality for a Brighter Future’. In the event, through thematic presentations and members’ views, it became clear that we while are on track in promoting gender equality in cooperatives, our road is long and many more things are needed to be done and considered with the changing times.

Having completed 25 years in the Asia and Pacific region, it is time for the ICA Asia and Pacific Committee on Women to reflect on the future. The 12th Regional Women’s Forum will mark the beginning of a new series of discussions on what lies ahead for women cooperators in the region. The theme of the Forum is ‘Women Cooperators in the Future’ in which it is envisioned that important subjects pertaining to the future of women cooperators shall be discussed.

The Committee has representation of women cooperators from 14 countries - Australia, China, India, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Palestine, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and Vietnam. Most of these are fast paced developing countries, with a few exceptions like Australia, Japan and South Korea, which are advanced and developed. There are wide range of issues that are unique to each country and cooperative sector to which our members belong. However, some subjects are common and cut across sectors and countries. These include –

  • Women’s participation in the cooperative labour force
  • Education and skills for women cooperators in the future
  • Women’s leadership in cooperatives
Keeping the future in perspective for women cooperators, the objectives of the forum are to –

  • Explore new avenues for job creation and entrepreneurship in the cooperative sector for women and discuss the way forward in policy advocacy and action.
  • Identify the education and skills gaps among women at present and assess future training needs that can benefit women cooperators
  • 3. Understand the continuing challenges that hinder the growth and realization of women’s leadership in cooperatives and discuss concrete measures to overcome them.

Tentative Agenda

Tentative Agenda Agenda (tentative)
Time and Venue 14:00 – 17:00, Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Manila, the Philippines
Tentative Agenda
  • Welcome remarks and overview of the forum theme by the Women’s Committee Chairperson, Ms. Chitose Arai
  • W25 years of the ICA Asia and Pacific Committee on Women (video screening)
Thematic plenary discussions:
  • Understanding new avenues for job creation and entrepreneurship in the cooperative sector for women, with a focus on – Overview of evolving industries/markets and exploring new business opportunities for women in cooperatives
  • Matching the education and skills of women cooperators with future needs, with a focus on - Human resource development and future of work
  • Underlining the importance of women in cooperative leadership, with a focus on – Understanding the challenges that limit women to assume leadership roles in cooperatives
(Open discussion) Way forward based on the thematic discussions, with a focus on -
  • Practical limitations within the cooperative sector (country-views)
  • Where to begin the necessary interventions, policy advocacy and action?
Vote of thanks and closing remarks by the Women’s Committee Chairperson, Ms. Chitose Arai