By SM .27 Jan, 2021
KOZHIKODE: The Kerala government"s ₹ 300 crore three-tower "Gender Park"", claimed to be the first of its kind in the country and working towards gender equality in the state, will become functional in Kozhikode from February.
The launch will coincide with the second edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE-II), state Health, Social Justice and Women and Child Development Minister KK Shailaja said on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the February 11-13 IGCE-II and the Gender Park.
On the opening day, he will also lay the foundation of the International Women"s Trade and Research Centre (IWTRC) that envisages a secure and sustained ecosystem for women entrepreneurs and a space for them to market their products.
The valedictory ceremony will be inaugurated by Kerala Finance Minister Dr. TM Thomas Isaac.
It will see the announcement of a policy draft based on the highlights of the entire sessions at ICGE-II.
A Gender Museum, Gender Library, Convention Centre, and an Amphitheatre will also be launched at the event.
These four facilities will form the first phase of the Gender Park that works towards gender equality in the state, Shailaja told a press conference in Kozhikode.
ICGE-II will explore measures to boost the economic potential of women and transgenders to equip them as sustainable entrepreneurs.
With "Gender in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Business: The Mediating Role of Empowerment" as the focal theme, the event at the Park"s campus is being organized in association with UN Women, which is part of the United Nations.
The Gender Museum will feature various social struggles that led to shifts in the status of women, their achievements, and turning points, including those during the Renaissance movement.
The Gender Library envisages the creation of public awareness on gender and its role in development.
The state-of-the-art Convention Centre will have a capacity to seat more than 500 people.
The Amphitheatre is set against a lush green backdrop.
Such an endeavour is the first in not just the country, but perhaps the whole world, the Minister claimed.
"Already we have allotted ₹ 26 crores for the Gender Park and earmarked another ₹ 15 crores for the next financial year," she said.
The government has also approved an administrative sanction of ₹ 172 crores," she said.
ICGE-II, with 100 delegates, besides 50 speakers, will hold nine plenary sessions and as many parallel sessions, in strict observance of the COVID-19 protocol.
Taking part will be policymakers, academics, professionals, and domain experts, besides ministers and diplomats from 30 countries.
Organizations and institutions the world over will witness the proceedings live.
The Minister said ICGE-II will function as a platform to anticipate the challenges in a post-pandemic world and share the present experiences of women across continents.
"Women in Kerala have high education, but no proportional representation in employment," she noted.
"That paradox adds to the relevance of the upcoming summit."
Last month, the UN Women signed an agreement with the 2013-conceived Gender Park to develop it into a South Asia hub for gender-related activities.
The December 21 MoU enables the Gender Park to build a Gender Data Centre.
All the projects at the Park will get cooperation from UN Women, the Minister said.
The first edition of the ICGE at Kovalam near Thiruvananthapuram in 2015, had Gender, Governance, and Inclusion as its theme.
It saw the official release of Kerala State Policy for Transgenders.