Equality counts among the six guiding values for cooperative enterprises, and open and voluntary membership is one of the principles to which cooperatives subscribe. Cooperative enterprises also have a “one member, one vote” system, which ensures that decision making powers are equally shared amongst their members . Being people-centred enterprises, cooperatives focus on the needs of their members and of the communities in which they operate, rather than on financial returns alone.
2015 represents an important year for equality. In terms of gender equality and women’s empowerment, 2015 marks 20 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for gender equality and women’s empowerment. This year will also see the adoption of a post-2015 development agenda by UN Member States, in order to take up the work begun by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) . The proposed agenda currently contains seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , including specific goals to achieve gender equality and reduce inequality within and among countries.
To celebrate the International Day of Cooperatives this year, DSPD Focal Point on Cooperatives in partnership with the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) will organize a panel discussion on “Choose cooperatives, choose equality” on 8 July 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York.
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