The Establishment of Gender Quotas for Leadership Positions in Cooperatives to Promote the Principal of Voluntary and Open Membership


  • Marianna Ferraz Teixeira Polytechnic Institute of Porto



Gender inclusion, Quotas, Cooperatives, Leadership positions, Voluntary and open membership principle, , Feminism


The present work aims to understand whether the establishment of gender quotas for the composition of management positions in Brazilian and Portuguese cooperatives would have the power to fully promote the principle of voluntary and open membership. Therefore, an approach to the roles imposed by society on men and women and propagated by patriarchy is essential to understand why women created the feminist movement and how important it is to achieve equality. In addition, it is essential to understand the characteristics of cooperatives, as well as its first principle - voluntary and open membership - in order to verify the reasons why cooperatives become an ideal model for promoting gender equality. Despite this, in the Brazilian and Portuguese cases, the data show that there is a disparity between men and women from entry, but that it is more relevant when observing the managerial positions. Thus, based on this information and in view of the barriers that keep women away from leadership positions, understanding the conditions for implementing affirmative action such as quotas is essential to verify the possibility of its implementation in the case of cooperatives, in respect for the principles that govern them. In this way, the use of the focus-group methodology seeks to fill in the information collected by the doctrinal, legal and statistical study, based on the empirical analysis of the opinions of jurists and directors of cooperatives on the feasibility of the implementation and of alternatives capable of leading to parity.