Intl Conference on Gender Equality in Kerala from Feb 11


The Kerala government’s efforts to foster entrepreneurship, especially for women and the transgender community and the need to galvanise it through robust policy interventions, innovative ideas and experiences from across the globe, would occupy centrestage at the second edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE) which begins on February 11 at the Gender Park campus in Kozhikode.

The three-day conference is organised by the Gender Park under the state’s Department of Women and Child Development, in partnership with UN Women, a body of the United Nations.

K.K. Shailaja, Minister for Health, Social Justice and Women and Child Development, said a major objective of the conference is to create an enabling ecosystem in Kerala that would help women and transgenders to realise their untapped economic potential and empower them to become sustainable entrepreneurs, a theme which features among the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Women must find their way in corporate boardrooms and also become market-savvy entrepreneurs. The objective is relevant for India and especially for Kerala, with high levels of educated unemployment, which is significant among women,” she added.

The conclave would underscore the crucial linkages between entrepreneurship, economic growth and poverty alleviation, and consider the context of Kerala in these areas to anticipate challenges and chart out an actionable roadmap to facilitate women and transgenders in entrepreneurship and social businesses, especially amid the Covid-19 scenario.

The event would also see the launch of a gender museum, gender library, convention centre and an amphitheatre. These four facilities would form the first phase of the Rs 200-crore Gender Park campus that works towards gender equality in the state.

The CEO of the Gender Park, P.T.M. Sunish, said there is an imperative need to gather, share and document more information with a wider audience about best practices learned and track equality indicators such as participation of women and transgender individuals in governance, management, asset ownership and income parity.

Diplomats and dignitaries from more than 15 countries would take part in the three-day conference.

The first edition of ICGE held in 2015 saw the official release of the Kerala State Policy for Transgenders, 2015, the first-of-its kind by an Indian state.