Article by Credal, Tangente and Ripess Europe

On May 3, a workshop on gender in the Social and Solidarity Economy took place within the framework of the GSEF, Dakar. The moderator of the table, Awa Nguer Fall, coordinator of the Project to Support the National Strategy for Gender Equity and Equality in Senegal [PASNEEG], encouraged the interventions of the various Feminist experiences and practices that were shared with the aim of tracing routes towards new horizons in which gender equality and the overcoming of patriarchy are present.

On the one hand, there was the participation of Tangente, a Cooperative Group that is located in Spain and brings together 13 companies with more than 100 professionals who develop projects to improve the quality of life of people, the social and community environment, and the environment.

Tangente’s member companies have more than 20 years of joint work based on cooperative values. This shared history has allowed to generate knowledge and multiply the capacity for action to respond to the demands of the different areas in which it offers services: participation and community work, psychology and health, organizational consulting, gender and equity, training, entrepreneurship, agroecology and collaborative housing.

In its career, it has extensive experience in municipal policies, and technical development in the management of projects with different public administrations and private institutions. Tangente proposes an innovative, applied and effective methodology to develop experiences of participatory democracy, co-responsibility and citizen involvement and sustainable development at the local level.

On the other hand, the Crédal is a Belgian financial cooperative with a history of more than 40 years, which offers three types of services: financing (personal and professional microcredit, and loans to social enterprises), accompaniment of entrepreneurial projects (individual and collective entrepreneurship) and investments (participations in the cooperative).

Throughout these years, Crédal has developed a specialization in the entrepreneurship of women, through several programs, to favor the creation of companies led by women, proposing specific support and financing. On the other hand, Crédal is very active in the field of social economy in Wallonia, contributing its advice to numerous associations and cooperatives to support their creation or development. Because of the credit possibilities, it also contributes to these social enterprises being able to launch and consolidate.

She also participated in the table Weer Bi, a monthly Senegalese scientific bulletin on the economics of extractive resources, the environment and migration, with a specific line on the network of women and youth in the energy [REGEP] sector.

And finally, RIPESS Europe, the Intercontinental Network of Social and Solidarity Economy, a network that is composed of 42 organizations located in 21 countries and whose objective is the visibility of SSE and its promotion through cooperation among its members and the development of Public Policies. RIPESS is making enormous efforts to change the capitalist and patriarchal work culture and develop a feminist perspective not only discursively and outwardly, but through an internal organizational review.


The Social and Solidarity Economy and the gender perspective, positions and concrete experiences.

For some time now, different organizations of the SSE have been pointing out that the Economy cannot be social and solidary if it is not feminist. These two currents reformulate the concept of economy that goes beyond the mercantile and, without a doubt, this economy that we want to claim or rather recover – because before capitalism there was already economies that were simply responsible for ensuring the material bases for the well-being of people and the sustenance of life – has to be built in diversity, together with all peoples and all genders, so that it can guarantee political and material rights for all the people who inhabit this planet and all its ecosystems.


RIPESS Europe was able to share through this activity in the GSEF, the different activities that it has implemented and that many of its members are also developing. On the one hand, the protocol against aggressions that seeks to build a shared space of security and trust for all people and aims to be a tool for individual and collective (self) defense against the different oppressions and / or aggressions of the system that manifest themselves in our workspaces and within our organizations. It arises from the need for self-education and collective self-protection, and seeks, through mutual support, to end the normalization of aggressions and the complicity of silence by creating a dialogue between all people. He also addressed the implementation of the Care Commission, a body to which the different member organizations of RIPESS Europe are joining, and which is responsible for the application of the protocol and its review, as well as implementing different awareness-raising tasks, etc.


Weer Bi presented data on the weight of women in the Senegalese underground economy, the economic activities they mainly carry out and the opportunities they find in Social and Solidarity Economy initiatives to alleviate their job and economic precariousness. It concluded with recommendations to strengthen the economic and social resilience of women: strengthening the management capacities of women involved in the social and solidarity economy, access to financing tools, implementation of a support program for women for the acquisition of land and social housing.


From the Spanish experience of the Juana Millán Escuela de Emprendedoras, the data that allow us to understand the situation of inequality experienced by women who wish to undertake in Spain and the proposed solution proposed by the school’s experience were exposed. A school based on the principles and values of the Social and Solidarity Economy, the Feminist Economy and the Management of Collective Processes.

And finally, Credal presented a project in which he has been working for a year and a half. This project is supported by Wallonia and the Ministry of Christie Morreale, which deals with, among other competences, the social economy and women’s rights. Within the framework of this project, Crédal led a study on gender issues in the social economy in Wallonia, written by Elodie Dessy, a researcher at the Centre de l’Economia Social de Liège. The study also aims to analyze the trajectories of associations and cooperatives according to whether they are created by women, men or mixed. This study brings to light that gender is a very little explored issue in the social economy, and that several actors use strategies to deny inequalities between men and women, arguing that there are more women working in the sector (74%) and that the values shared by the actors are sufficiently inclusive. Based on the recommendations made by the author, Crédal coordinated the creation of a toolkit to help social enterprises integrate gender issues into their practices. For example, the kit carries tools on the governance of structures, the distribution of care tasks within volunteering, or inclusive communication.

In this link you can find the study and the tools:


Towards a Social, Solidarity and Feminist Economy.

The experience of Dakar, the voices, projects and analyses shared during the Forum place us in a global panorama marked by uncertainty, the climate emergency, the destruction of ecosystems, migration crises, global care chains… It is evident that the current mechanisms to generate and distribute wealth increase the levels of social inequality, leaving more and more people on the margins of the basics. These margins do not stop growing and are the territory in which more and more women live.

The collaboration between projects such as those presented at the workshop must be the seed of a transformation that is essential, the germ of an economic model that puts people and the planet at the center, and that this transformation in economic relations is led by women who launch successful and ambitious projects in strategic sectors, such as the scientific industry, the primary livestock and agroecological sector, in sectors such as renewable energies, the ecological rehabilitation of buildings, reuse, recycling and waste management, culture, the relocation of the production of essential goods (health, textile, food, technological …), care services, projects that sustain a dignified life for all.

It is also essential that the social economy takes over the issue of inclusion and gender equality, and that it can be a field where all people are equal. Concretely, this means that the actors of the social economy should be trained on the subject, use tools, that social enterprises have a strict parity of men and women in their spheres of decision, and that statistics are produced to have data on this inclusion and thus be able to continue improving.





Workshop Title: How to take gender into account in the social and solidarity economy

Andrea Rodríguez –  RIPESS Europe

Joëlle Tétart – Credal

Oumar Ba –  Weer Bi

Sandra Salsón and Ariadna de la Rubia | Tangente


Video Pré Forum FemmESS: