According to SSE advocates, SSEs can be instrumental in achieving the 2030 Development Agenda by addressing many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). (UNTFSSE, 2014). With respect to SDG 5, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” SSE initiatives can be relevant to the following specific targets:
- Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and family…
- Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadershipat all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.
- Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as acess to ownership and control over land, other forms of property, financial ervices, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws.
How can women in poverty , as well as other vulnerable groups, realize their aspirations for a life of dignity and prosperity within the framework of the 2030 Development Agenda, given the persistent poverty, extreme inequality, recurring financial and food crises, climate change and its disastrous impacts gripping the world today?
One pathway being tried out in many places is Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE). As defined by the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on SSE, this “refers to the production of goods and services by a broad range or organizations and enterprises that have explicit social and often environmental objectives, and are guided by principles and practices of cooperation, solidarity, equity and democratic self-management.” (UNTFSSE, 2014:1).
SSEs, however, may not necessarily br supportive of women’s empowerment. This paper, therefore, aims to explore this dilemma by attempting to answer the following question: Do SSE initiatives documented in existing case studies within Asia, particularly in the Philippines and other ASEAN member countries, consciously pursue the SDG on gender equality as they aspire to realize other SDG goals?
Its objectives include:1) To examine the relationship between SSEs and the achievement of SDG goal number 5 on gender equality in available case studies from the region; 2) To surface gains and gaps in these initiatives by employing SDG and SSE evaluation criteria based on the five dimensions of SSE enterprises; ; and 3) To make recommendations for future action based on insights culled from the research.