The three-day international conference on gender equality (ICGE) started on Thursday in Kozhikode’s Gender Park. State Health Minister KK Shailaja stressed the need to promote social entrepreneurship in order to empower marginalized sections and ensure gender equality through empowerment and mainstreaming women and transgender people.
Shailaja opened the second edition of the ICGE, saying South Asia’s first gender park will support women and transgender businesses, which is an integral part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The high-profile conclave was organized by the state ministry for women’s and children’s development in cooperation with UN Women.
“It is important to promote social entrepreneurship to help women and transgender people enjoy the same status. They are often victims of gender discrimination and denied opportunities. There are many sectors waiting for women and transgender people to enter. The Gender Park will give them all support, ”said the Minister.
The state government is committed to equal opportunities in all areas, including education, skills development and entrepreneurship. For this purpose, The Gender Park has set up its own study center in cooperation with UN Women. This center will examine issues related to women and transgender people from India, Bhutan, the Maldives and Sri Lanka, she said.
An international women’s trade center will also be set up in the park for the marketing of products from women’s companies from these countries.
A Pradeep Kumar MLA who chaired the opening session said that what the concept of “gender equality” envisages is being realized by the Gender Park through its activities and programs. A world-class convention center, gender museum, library and amphitheater would be developed as part of the gender park, he said.
Gender Park CEO PTM Sunish said educational institutions should include gender equality in the curriculum to create greater awareness of it. Society’s conventional approach to women and transgender people should change. The Gender Park will strive to achieve gender equality in all areas, he said.
Former Rajya Sabha member Brinda Karat was a strong advocate of women’s cultural empowerment and said it was high time society scrapped traditional cultural standards. The centers of power are always trying to stem the rise of women when they take a step forward, and it is important to follow the Kerala model to break caste barriers, she said.