Following a working group on women and the SSE at the FIESS in 2011, a two-year project on women entrepreneurs in the SSE that took place from 2014 to 2016 and the results of the working group on women and the SSE that convened for the 2016 Global Social Economy Forum, the Chantier de l’économie sociale adopted a declaration on gender equity in social economy in Quebec on 18th May 2017.

This declaration aims to rectify issues of current inequality, and considers that gender equity is an essential condition for the successful development of social and solidarity economy (SSE).

The declaration outlines certain real facts on the inequalities confronting women as well as outlining actions to be taken. It also aims to present the role of women in the social economy environment, to support and encourage women to be active in collective entrepreneurship and especially to ensure gender equity in existing institutions.

We strongly encourage all networks working in the field of social and solidarity economy to introduce a declaration such as the following that supports gender equity.



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Given that women represent over 70% of the labour force in social economy in Quebec and that they play a decisive role as creators of enterprises, administrators, workers and beneficiaries.

Given that in spite of the major role played by women at economic, social and political level, gender equality is still not a given, especially in terms of equal pay, diversity and choice of careers or access to economic and political resources.

Given that the social economy movement in Quebec contributes to the emergence of a development model based on the values of equity, justice and solidarity.

Given that social economy places people before profit.

The members of the Board of the Chantier de l’économie sociale unanimously declare the following:

  • It is essential to recognise the contribution of women to social and economic development for its true worth, especially by recognising the importance of equal pay for equal work, while remaining sensitive to the relevant differences linked to womanhood.
  • In order to be a real factor for improving living conditions, the development model should be based on supporting increased autonomy and involvement of women and categorically rejecting all forms of discrimination.
  • Full development of all people needs to reconcile work, studies, personal life and the realities of their families.
  • The importance of unpaid work needs to be recognised as a factor that supports social cohesion of our communities, irrespective of whether the work is carried out on a voluntary basis or within the family.
  • Invisible work can contribute to precariousness and must be overcome.
  • Workers, both women and men have the right to organise and demand decent working conditions, and social economy given the characteristics and practice of participatory management are a means of realising this.


We therefore commit to:

  • Raise awareness within the community partners of social economy on the importance of documenting and communicating the differentiated aspects encountered by women and men in social economy in order to adjust practice if and where necessary.
  • Be aware of the stakes and practices of social economy enterprises in Quebec that have specific impacts on women.
  • Include as and where appropriate a differentiated gender-based analysis in considerations and work (as of the outset of all projects).
  • Work together with our partners to contribute to the progress of practice in social economy organisations on the issue of equal pay, gender parity in our representative and decision-making bodies, and use the experience of social economy in work with partners aiming to improve equity in working condition and life in general.


This charter is part of the on-going actions taken to uphold equality in social economy and is inspired by the reflections and recommendations made by:

L’activité « Femmes au cœur de l’économie sociale et solidaire »  tenue le 17 octobre 2011 in Montreal in the framework of the Forum international de l’économie sociale et solidaire (FIESS)

The Manila Declaration approved at the 5th Solidarity Economy Meeting in October 2013

Final report from the working group on women&SSE: From montreal to la paz via hong kong : women-men´s equality, an essential condition for the development of social and solidarity economy

Gender equity, an essential condition for the development of social and solidarity economy!