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Mrs. Haslinda Sujak, CCM, Malaysia makes her presentation.

 

The Workshop on Data Collection and Monitoring: Tracking Progress on Gender Equality in Co-operatives was held on December 7 and 8 at the Sunway Resort and Spa, Kuala Lumpur. The workshop was supported by the Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union (JCCU) and ANGKASA, the apex organization of the Malaysian National Cooperative Movement. It was attended by 30 participants from 10 countries and included members of the ICA-AP Women’s Committee; representatives from Malaysian co-operatives; and from government, academia, and international agencies. The current workshop was organized to generate awareness on gender-disaggregated data collection, analysis and use; share experiences from the region in developing gender tracking systems; train members in the collection of gender-disaggregated data; and discuss ways to sensitize and orient leadership/management on issues of gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment.

 

Over two-days during the Workshop, the participants heard the views of stakeholders and on-the-ground practical experiences from a range of speakers and also to discuss ways to improve data collection. The two studies conducted in the region, Gender is more than a Statistic (Azad, 2016) and the Eliza Report (Orr, 2017), highlighted not only the stark discrepancies in representation of women at the leadership level but also ways in which the situation could be bettered through training, sharing of best practices, work place policies, and sponsorship. Nepal Agriculture Central Cooperative Federation Limited (NACCFL) shared their experience in using the FAO data collection and monitoring system to track their work on increasing participation and representation of women at all levels of their Federation. The data is then analysed on a periodic basis to track progress of women in membership, staff and leadership positions. The FAO recognizes the crucial role played by co-operatives in the upliftment of women in agriculture co-operatives and is working to improve their visibility and representation. The MASS-SPECC study from Mindanao, The Philippines documented the contribution of co-operatives to the local economy, both in economic and non-economic terms. The Malaysian experience shed light on the ways the National Statistical Agencies and bodies responsible for co-operatives, the Cooperative College of Malaysia and the Malaysian Co-operative Societies Commission could work together to collect gender-disaggregated data in co-operatives. The presentations like those made by NACCFL, MASS-SPECC and the Statistics Division of the Government of Malaysia, highlighted the importance of having robust systems in place to collect gender-disaggregated data in order to, create gender-sensitive policies, track progress, and strengthen advocacy efforts towards holistically empowering women. The group work on day two provided participants the opportunity to offer feedback to improve the questionnaire utilized in the 2015 Study to collect gender-disaggregated data.

 

To read the full-length Report from the Workshop, please click here.