Training for female cooperative members - Women in Europe for a Common Future






Training for female cooperative members

The first day of the workshop on gender-sensitive Energy Cooperatives in Georgia from 09.07.-11.07. was a training for female cooperative members.

A workshop on gender-sensitive Energy Cooperatives in Georgia conducted by WECF and GREENS Region took place in Khoni from 9th to 11th of July. The first day of the workshop was for women only. Participants were female members of the newly established energy cooperatives. Nino Gamisonia, the first day’s trainer, raised awareness of these women for the importance of female leaders in decision-making positions in general and in particular in energy cooperatives. The target was to enable them to become more active in their communities and to participate more effectively in a leadership function within energy cooperatives. The vision is to have a balanced approach to decision making principles in energy cooperatives for men and women.

Within the introduction, Nino Gamisonia gave information about the history of strong women in leader positions as well as the current situation in Georgia. After that, the participants were asked to think about barriers for women to engage in cooperatives and their solutions.

The second session was about gender quota. After a short background, the participants started a discussion on how useful gender quota are in politics and the private sector and how these quotas could look like for the cooperatives. A suggestion was that depending on the number of cooperative members 40-50% should be women.

After that female cooperative members discussed the measures, which they think are most important to implement within the cooperatives. They emphasized the importance of attracting new members while maintaining the above-mentioned gender balance. In order to be more competitive the development of a nice visual design of products, marketing trainings and improved skills in promoting the products were highlighted. Furthermore, the idea to have only one centralized production site and the need for an experienced manager were presented.

To round the session of the first day up, Anna Samwel gave a presentation about women and (energy) businesses based on the experiences of the previous 5 years. This presentation showed that mostly women are the main drivers in the household to invest in a SWH. Therefore, it is important to fully include women in decision-making processes in energy cooperatives.