Saturday 3 July 2010 marked the UN Day of Cooperatives; this year’s theme was cooperatives and how they empower women.
A cooperative is an organisation that is owned collectively between a group of people for their mutual benefit. For some of the poorest people in the world, working in a cooperative can be a great way to increase incomes by pooling resources and sharing profits.
Christian Aid takes this opportunity to look at some examples of how its partner organisations are using cooperatives to transform people’s lives around the world, with a particular focus on women.
Christian Aid partner Deccan Development Society (DDS) works with dalit women in Andhra Pradesh in India. The 5,000 women members of sanghams (women's cooperatives) represent the poorest of the poor. Through the sanghams, the women have cultivated 5,000 acres of land that was previously fallow or had become unproductive. Photo: Christian Aid/Chiara Goia