Over 50 speakers are expected to take part in the International Conference for Gender Equality (ICGE), an initiative by Gender Park in association with UN Women. ICGE is a platform for gender and development bringing in globally reputed experts on various subjects. While the first edition of the conference was held in 2015, Gender Park is all set to host the next edition from 11th to 13th February, 2021 at the Gender Park campus (combination of digital and onsite). It aims to bring together a global cross-section of scholars, practitioners, policy makers and professionals to a common platform to explore the role of gender empowerment in sustainable entrepreneurship and social business.
Established in 2013 by the Government of Kerala, The Gender Park is committed to strengthening gender equality by creating relevant interventions that help address a range of gender-based issues. Headquartered in Thiruvananthapuram, with its main campus set at Kozhikode, The Gender Park is a platform that acts as a gender convergence hub for research, policy analysis, advocacy and other initiatives.
With a commitment to work towards a just society where all genders have equal access to opportunities, resources and benefits, Gender Park has launched several initiatives and programs including the internationally acclaimed 'She Taxi'. The project broke into the unconventional markets of taxi operators, molding women into becoming entrepreneurs in a "for-woman-by-woman" service model. It has since won several accolades across the globe. Another notable initiative by Gender Park is the Fellowship program of Women in Sustainable Entrepreneurship (WiSE). The program aims to sharpen and strengthen the knowledge, skills and attitudes of selected Fellows in establishing, operating and scaling up sustainable enterprises. Besides these initiatives, the Gender Museum and Gender Library are oriented towards creating a space for individuals and communities to engage with history, archival works, literature with a vision to develop a feminist learning space for all.
Recently, UN Women (Multi Country Office, Delhi), which is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women, entered into an equal partnership with Gender Park to facilitate its upscaling into a South Asian hub for gender related activities. UN Women will also collaborate with Gender Park in its prestigious projects such as International Women's Trade Centre (iWTC), Women in Sustainable Entrepreneurship Fellowship Programme and ICGE-II.
With the Coronavirus outbreak, the need to strive for innovation and sustainable solutions is more crucial than ever. The economic impact of Covid-19 is causing mass unemployment which adversely affects women. Women are also facing gender inequalities within division of household work, education and healthcare. To counter this pandemic-induced setback in the quest for gender equality, organizations such as Gender Park are highlighting the need for putting women at the center of economies to drive better and more sustainable development outcomes and a more rapid economic recovery.
The first installment of ICGE was centered around Gender, Governance and Inclusion and saw the official release of the Kerala State Policy for Transgenders, 2015. ICGE-II comes just in time to address the role of gender equality in sustainable development. The conference will bring together prominent personalities, researchers and renowned activists in the field of Gender Equality, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development. The keynote address will be given by Dr. Jayati Ghosh who is a renowned development economist and Chairperson of the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The conference has a promising lineup of speakers with a lot to offer, especially given the need to look at entrepreneurship and sustainability in conjunction with each other. Considering the need for push towards socially and sustainably responsible businesses and with Kerala being a consistent performer in NITI Aayog's Sustainable Development Index, this conference is aptly set in Calicut.
—The Hawk Features