Jan 2017

Co-ops on the road to gender equality

Excerpt from Community Housing Industry Association magazine.

Founded on values of self-help, equality, and equity, co-operatives are well placed to provide leadership on gender equality, Common Equity Housing Ltd’s (CEHL) Sandra Castro reports. 

Being part of a co-op has been an empowering experience for Sharon Wadeson. ‘I joined the co-op about 12 years ago. I was living in one bedroom with my son and couldn’t find accommodation. It was a tough time. I was so excited when I got

the house and joined the co-op. It gave us security. I’ve filled several director roles in the co-op; it gave me confidence and the feeling of being accepted. I can’t thank the co-op enough as my family were given a house we call home. I’m in the Bellarine Coop now and work with a wonderful group of people,’ Ms Wadeson says.

The housing co-operative movement has a long history of empowering women, giving them an equal vote in co-operative leadership decades before they could vote for parliament. In 1846, Eliza Brierley became the first woman member of the Rochdale Pioneers Equitable Co-operative.

Read article in CHIA magazine on page 13