WEBINAR: Gender Equality Working Group


webinar 16 June 2021 1600-18

Post-Covid Europe, Cooperatives and Gender Equality to Rebuild Back Better

First public meeting of the Cooperatives Europe Gender Equality Working Group


Implementing its gender equality charter, Cooperatives Europe’s Gender Equality Working Group organized its first webinar on 16th of June on the topic of rebuilding back better post-covid with cooperatives and gender equality at the forefront.

Followed by over 80 participants, and moderated by Susanne Westhausen, VP of Cooperatives Europe, the event saw best practices and experience sharing on the impact of Covid-19 on women cooperators, as well as a discussion on the necessary policies and measures put in place to support women in employment, entrepreneurship, and work-life balance.

The Plenary session saw President Jean-Louis Bancel remind the cooperative movement of the importance to integrate gender balance in their strategies. Anna Manca, Chair of the Italian Cooperative Alliance, revealed the challenges the Italian cooperatives faced during the pandemic, whilst speaker MEPs Fritzon and Toia put forward the position of the European Parliament on the gender strategy with a respective focus on the actions of the FEMM Committee and the Social Economy Intergroup.

This was followed by a round table that addressed successively the topic on women entrepreneurship, work-life balance and Impact of COVID-19 on gender equality and recovery. Representatives from the European Commission presented the latest initiatives on these issues and representatives from various cooperatives sectors reacted by presenting successful actions but also the challenges cooperatives are faving. During discussion, that involved representative from Eurochambers, several ideas and recommendations were expressed in particularly on digital skills development, programmes supporting women entrepreneurship and promotion of cooperatives initiatives. As announced by Stefania Marcone, Chair of the Gender Equality Working Group, Cooperatives Europe will use these discussions for the implementation of its gender working programme in line with post covid recovery actions.


Susanne Westhausen Director of Kooperationen

Plenary Session Speakers:

Jean Louis Bancel, President Cooperatives Europe
MEP Helene Fritzon , member of FEMM Commission, European Parliament
MEP Patrizia Toia: Social Economy Intergroup-European Parliament
Anna Manca, Chairperson, Alliance Italian Cooperatives “Women and Equality Commission”

Round-table on three themes:

1.Supporting women’s employment and cooperative entrepreneurship
What actions and tools are most needed

with Patrick Klein, Policy Officer ( DG Grow), Diana Dovgan, Secretary General CECOP

2. Work-life balance: a joint goal among genders

with Kirsten Leube  Legal Officer DG JUST,  Federica Mamini, Liaison Officer, EUROCOOP

3 .Impact of Covid-19 gender equality and recovery

with Giulia Rocchi, Coordinator of the work of the EUROCHAMBRES Women Network, Tiina LINNAINMAA, Vice-President of COGECA.


Stefania Marcone, Chairwoman of Cooperatives Europe Gender Equality Working Group




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