On September 19-20, 2023, the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the International Cooperative Alliance Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP) Committee on Women was held in Tokyo. A total of 98 participants from six countries, including Japan, gathered at the venue, while 71 participants from 12 countries joined online.
In the morning of the first day, ARAI Chitose, Chair of the ICA-AP Committee on Women and Vice President of the Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union (JCCU), greeted the participants, followed by a commemorative lecture by ISHIKAWA Kae, Director of UN Women, Japan Office. In the afternoon, a commemorative ceremony was held during which a video reviewing the 25 years of progress since the establishment of the Committee on Women was presented. Following that, congratulatory speeches were delivered by OGURA Masanobu, former Minister in charge of Women's Empowerment; former Minister of state for Gender Equality, and ITO Junko, former Vice Chair of the ICA-AP Committee on Women.
The session was followed by a presentation entitled 'Gender Equality for a Brighter Future: Reflections for Our Future Actions,' during which members of the Committee on Women from various countries, including South Korea, Nepal, and the Philippines, reported on the environment surrounding women in their respective countries and their efforts towards problem-solving.
The plenary discussion that followed the report was lively and involved everyone, including the online participants, who discussed specific topics and issues and shared their thoughts and opinions.
(Left) ARAI Chitose, Chair, ICA-AP Committee on Women, delivers the opening address at the commemorative ceremony.
(Middle) Commemorative Lecture by ISHIKAWA Kae, Director of UN Women, Japan Office
(Right) Congratulatory speech by OGURA Masanobu, former Minister in charge of Women's Empowerment; former minister of state for Gender Equality
(Left) Congratulatory speech by ITO Junko, former Vice Chair of the ICA-AP Committee on Women
(Right) Report by Ahyoung Kim, iCOOP KOREA
Thematic reports from members of Committee on Women on the afternoon of Day 1
Gender Equality for a Brighter Future: Reflections for Our Future Actions
Part Ⅰ : Good Practices
・Women Driving Cooperative Development
Presenter: Dr. Ahyoung Kim, iCOOP, South Korea
・Women at the Decision-Making Table
Presenter: Ms. Gyanu Poudyal, NCF, Nepal
・Mainstreaming of Gender and Development in Cooperatives
Presenter: Ms. Hermes G. Vergara, NATCCO, Philippines
・Addressing Gender-Based Violence through Advocacy and Dialogue
Presenter: Ms. Priti Patel, NCUI, India
Part Ⅱ : Way forward for the next 25 years
・Priority areas and potential interventions for women farmers in Japanese agricultural cooperatives
Presenter: Ms. Machiko Kubo, JA-JOSEIKYO, Japan
・How to involve young girls and women in the cooperative sector
and prepare them to become future leaders.
Presenter: Ms. Hajah Noorizan Binti Abdul Latif, ANGKASA, Malaysia
［The Second Day ］
On the second day, participants visited the CO-OP Mirai Katsushikashiratori store and others to learn about Japanese consumer co-ops and cooperative associations and deepened their exchanges.
Committee members and Co-op Mirai board members deepened their interactions.