Focus on social entrepreneurship

Health Minister K.K. Shylaja inaugurating the three-day International Conference on Gender Equality on the Gender Park campus in Kozhikode on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Ragesh

Stressing the need for a better ecosystem for women empowerment, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja on Thursday said the State government was ready to draft a clear policy for the promotion of social entrepreneurship in Kerala.

Social entrepreneurship is an approach in which individuals, groups or companies implement solutions to social or environmental issues with profit being not the chief aim of business.

Opening the three-day International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE) at the Gender Park in Kozhikode, the Minister said the opinion of stakeholders and the public would be crucial in the formation of the draft policy. “The whole world is now discussing social entrepreneurship and its role in achieving the goal of women empowerment. It can really create more opportunities for women entrepreneurs and address unemployment crisis,” said Ms. Shylaja.

According to her, the government’s attention during the formation of such a policy would be the possibility of covering maximum number of families under it. “There should be efforts to protect vulnerable groups and families. We are open to suggestions from all sectors for the formation of the draft policy,” she said.

Lauding the big role played by the Gender Park in women empowerment activities, the Minister said efforts were on to upgrade it as a regional hub of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) covering India, Bhutan and Maldives. The Gender Park would soon get an exclusive research centre for women for which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would lay the foundation stone on February 14, she added.

Addressing the meet, Aishwarya Rutuparna Pradhan, who is India’s first transgender bureaucrat, said the Kerala model of transgender welfare policy could be an adoptable model for the rest of India. “Transgender people should get social acceptance. Better gender sensitivity should be there in all sectors, and people should be treated equally irrespective of their gender by the mainstream,” she said.

Cultural empowerment

Virtually addressing the event, Communist party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat said the cultural empowerment of women was also crucial in the process of sustainable development and gender equality. “Empowerment of women with market relations and strategies alone cannot be the only focus. Unless there is cultural empowerment or self-mobilisation, smashing of those cultural barriers will be impossible,” she observed.

A. Pradeep Kumar, MLA, presided over the event, which is being conducted as a carbon neutral event. Three plenary sessions with the online presence of international delegates were hosted on the inaugural day. The event would draw to a close on February 13.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 4:45:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/focus-on-social-entrepreneurship/article33814174.ece

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