In November 2013, at the International Meeting of RIPESS in Manila, a group of women elaborated and presented in a plenary session a Declaration for a Gender Perspective in the Social Solidarity Economy underlining the importance for the SSE movement to integrate in its processes a gender perspective as well as a greater attention to issues related to equality between women and men. The women who drafted the Declaration recalled that if women make up the majority of the SSE’s actors, they are also invisible at many levels in the movement, in particular when it comes to the governance of social solidarity economy enterprises. “Women and men need spaces to discuss and develop a SSE gender perspective within the local, national and international networks of the social solidarity economy”, they claimed.

Two years later, in a year that marks the 40th anniversary of the first International Women’s Year and the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a new intercontinental working group is created by RIPESS to promote exchange, reflection and collaboration on a gender perspective and a feminist approach to the SSE.

The integration of this work axis in the network’s action plan has among its objectives:

  • shed light on the reality, challenges and advances of women in the SSE;
  • promote and give visibility to women’s innovation in the SSE and to egalitarian practices fostering socioeconomic empowerment;
  • promote the SSE as a strategy for improving the socio-economic situation of women and girls;
  • promote the inclusion of this axis in the work of the continental and national networks and local organizations, in statements, action plans, research, etc.

The group’s activities could include giving visibility to analyses and events addressing these issues, contributing to the organization of conferences and workshops as well as creating and strengthening alliances with other movements such as the World March of Women, Neighborhoods of the World, the International Organization of the Francophonie, women’s business networks, feminist groups, groups involved in women’s economic empowerment, UN-Women,, etc.

The working group will be co-facilitated by Ana Leighton of the Solidarity Economy Network Santiago Chile, coordinator of RIPESS-LAC and Board member of RIPESS Intercontinental, and Ethel Côté, trainer in SSE and an active member of the network of women entrepreneurs of Neighborhood of the World and RIPESS-North America.

To know more on the activities of the working group or express your interest to participate or receive news, please write to