5 years after its launch, Gender Park to come alive for global meet

Exactly five years after it came into existence, the Gender Park in Kozhikode is hosting the first event on its campus in February this year. The second edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE), a flagship event of the Gender Park, is being held here in association with UN Women.

The Gender Park, an independent body under the Department of Social Justice, had created much hype before it was inaugurated by then President Pranab Mukherjee in 2016. A pet project of MLAs M.K. Muneer and A. Pradeep Kumar, the Gender Park is spread over a 15,000-square feet plot with an ancient building that had been renovated for it. The renovation, and the construction of a modern building behind it cost around ₹30 crore.

Though meant to be a premier convergence point of gender-related activities, the facility has been gathering dust all these years.

A Gender Fest in Kozhikode and the first ICGE in Thiruvananthapuram were the only events organised by the Gender Park, though none in its own premises in Kozhikode.

The ‘She Taxi’ service initiated under the Gender Park had turned out to be a burden for women drivers who had jumped into the project expecting a bright future, and is now nearly non-existent.

The three day ICGE-II that begins on February 11 will be in a partially digital (hybrid) format, due to COVID-related restrictions.

The focal theme is ‘Gender in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Business: The mediating role of empowerment’ and plans to throw light on critical linkages between entrepreneurship, economic growth and poverty reduction.

This is also the beginning of a long-standing association between the Gender Park and UN Women that plans to scale the park as a South Asian hub for gender equality, besides institutionalising a Gender Data Centre within the International Institute for Gender and Development on the park premises.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 1:10:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/5-years-after-its-launch-gender-park-to-come-alive-for-global-meet/article33496591.ece

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