East of England Co-op donates £1,000 to support local women and girls

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To mark International Women’s Day (Monday 8 March) the region’s largest independent retailer is donating £1,000 to help improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls in East Anglia.

The donation will be split equally between The Suffolk Community Foundation’s Women & Girls’ Fund, The Norfolk Community Foundation’s Together for Women Fund and The Essex Community Foundation.

The three local community foundations will distribute the East of England Co-op’s donation to causes supporting and empowering women and girls in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex. The donation will contribute to funding a variety of local groups and projects that focus on areas such as domestic abuse support, education empowerment and wellbeing.

East of England Co-op Joint Chief Executive, Niall O’Keeffe, said:

“We’re pleased to be able to make this donation to support groups and projects that are doing fantastic work to help improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls in our area.

“As a co-operative, our values are part of our DNA and guide how we operate as a business. We are proud of our history of championing gender equality and International Women’s Day is an important time for our co-op to celebrate the achievements of our female colleagues and community.”

Co-operatives have a long history of supporting equality for women. Co-operative societies gave women equal rights and opportunities long before Parliament. From the mid-1800s, women were able to receive their own dividend and have an equal vote in their co-operative, 80 years before they would be granted the parliamentary vote.

The first Co-operative Women’s Guild was formed in 1883, during the early days of the women’s suffrage movement. Co-operative Women’s Guilds have since campaigned for women’s rights in areas such as: parliamentary vote, maternity benefits, equal pay, health and housing, consumer rights and pensions.