GWLN welcomes first sister society from India

June 25, 2019

India becomes the 20th country to launch a Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) Sister Society, with women from the Maharashtra State Federation of Cooperative Credit Societies (MAFCOCS) and Kalyani Mahila Nagari Cooperative Credit Society forming a chapter in Nashik—a city of about 1.4 million people in the western state of Maharashtra.

Anjali Patil, chair of the Kalyani Mahila Nagari Cooperative Credit Society and director of MAFCOCS, will head the new Sister Society. Its goal is to empower more women through the cooperative movement. The Sister Society chapter in India is the result of an action plan launched by Patil and Surekha Lavande, CEO of MAFCOCS, at an April 2019 Business Development Services (BDS) training organized by ACCU.

In 2014, GWLN provided a grant to ACCU CEO Elenita San Roque to research the positive social and economic impact of credit unions providing business development support to entrepreneurial women. The BDS training is now employed at the league and federation levels to empower disadvantaged women to start, grow and sustain businesses.

“To establish Sister Society chapters in 20 countries—including the second-most populous nation the world—is an amazing step forward for the Global Women’s Leadership Network,” said Lena Giakoumopoulos, program director for GWLN. “There are now more than 90 Sister Society chapters worldwide—nearly double the amount we had at the end of 2017.”

GWLN leaders are on pace to meet their goal of establishing 100 Sister Societies by the end 2019.

World Council of Credit Unions established the Global Women’s Leadership Network in 2009 to provide credit union women with the opportunities and resources to make a measurable difference in each other’s lives—and the lives of their members and communities. The establishment of Sister Societies across the globe has helped GWLN further that mission on a local level.

The Global Women’s Leadership Network will highlight its international growth at a 10-Year Celebration Reception at the 2019 World Credit Union Conference in The Bahamas.