First Global Conference on Gender Equality in Kerala

In a bid to reduce gender inequality in India and increase female work participation rates, the Kerala government is set to host the country\'s first global conference on gender equality here from November 12-14.

Published: 11th November 2015 01:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2015 01:07 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to reduce gender inequality in India and increase female work participation rates, the Kerala government is set to host the country's first global conference on gender equality here from November 12-14.

With a core theme of "Gender, Governance and Inclusion" the conference is set to discuss issues ranging from citizenship, globalisation, work, governance, health, education, disability and the role of media.

"The theme of the conference focuses on the urgent need for a transformative agenda to move towards greater inclusion and gender equality," Mridul Eapen, Honorary Professor, Centre for Development Studies said.

The three-day summit at Kovalam titled 'International Conference on Gender Equality' (ICGE -1) is being organised by the Green Park, an institution under the Kerala Government.

The institution is responsible for the successful all-women cab service, 'She Taxi'; an initiative which is now being adopted by other states as a powerful model for women's entrepreneurship and a means to ensure their social and financial security.

"There are pressing gender equity issues that need to be addressed and I am certain this conference will provide the ideal platform for just that; to generate a pool of ideas that can be built on and implemented successfully at both the national and international levels," PTM Sunish, CEO, The Gender Park said.

The conference aims to entail an informative and interactive program that will include plenary sessions, thematic paper presentations and panel discussions by gender experts from around the world and poster presentations by young scholars. Kerala's draft policy on transgender rights is also set to be discussed.

"The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by UN Member States in September 2015 place gender equality and women's empowerment at the centre of the global development agenda. I am certain that the conference will spur renewed political commitment and re-energise action on gender equality," Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Representative, UN Women's Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka said.

Policy makers, activists and intellectuals are also hopeful that solutions and suggestions will come forth from the discussions held with regards to Disability policies of Kerala and the government report on marginalised, vulnerable sections of women in the society.

"The current gender issues are more daunting and complex, almost invisible, and we need to find new and innovative ways to understand and address them.  The conference will bring us lessons on how these issues are addressed in the rest of the world," said M K Muneer, the Panchayats and Social Justice minister for Kerala.

The summit will witness participation distinguished thought leaders, social activists, research scholars and policymakers from the country and around the world.

Renowned dancer and activist Mallika Sarabhai, South Asia Director - Human Rights Watch Meenkashi Ganguly, co-founder of The Quint, Ritu Kapur, CEO, POW! Strategies, Pat Mitchell, daughter of President Pranab Mukherjee, Sharmistha Mukherjee, renowned lawyer and women rights' activist Flavia Agnes and Chair of High Level Committee (HLC) on the Status of Women,Pam Rajput, are some of those attending the event.

The ICGE-1 will also try to bring out a high-quality publication capturing the knowledge and lessons in this area and formulate a 2015 ICGE statement on the way forward for India to act on, promote and sustain gender equality.



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