For the first time in India, a Gender Park is set to be inaugurated on February 11 by the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Government. Kerala’s Gender Park is established under the Department of Women and Child Development to promote gender equality and empowerment in the state by giving people a platform to discuss and share groundwork research, promote advocacy, kickstart developmental initiatives, and social promotions. An investment of INR 300 crore was utilised to build the three towered 24-acre campus of the Gender Park. The inauguration will coincide with the launch of the second edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE-II).
The Purpose of Kerala’s Gender Park
The sole aim of Kerala’s Gender Park is to create a safe space that promotes gender-related activities that empower individuals to grow and learn without any barriers. Various gender-related issues can be addressed openly and with the involvement of the Department of Women and Child Development, implementation of various recommendations is also possible.
Here’s what Kerala’s Gender Park has to offer:
Hosted by the Gender Park, the ICGE is a global conference that brings together brilliant minds from all around the world, such as researchers, policy-makers, lecturers, etc. to spark dialogue and bring in new perspectives about gender-just development. The second edition of this conference, with its focus on Social Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Gender, is dated to happen on February 11th.
The first one, in association with UN Women and the UNFPA, was held in Kovalam back in 2015, where the topic of discussion was on gender inequalities and inclusivity of genders in the developmental activities.
“A global institute for gender and development” is what Gender Park calls this initiative. Fellows, who will be referred to as WiSE Fellows, will partner with women entrepreneurs who are in need of manpower to scale their business. The aim of the fellowship is to provide an opportunity for students to better understand the industries and educate them in gender theory and practice, thereby, amplifying their knowledge and skill through hands-on experience. Both the entrepreneur and the fellow will be mentored by experts in the field.
International Women’s Trade Centre (iWTC)
The iWTC aims to promote women entrepreneurship by providing women with a safe and comfortable place to start up. Usually, women face a lot of societal barriers especially while starting up. It’s one of the major reasons why they stop their entrepreneurial activities mid-way. But the iWTC comes in as a solution to encourage women to start their own ventures while giving them access to knowledge-based platforms for their business perusal.
The best way to sensitise people about gender issues is by giving them an opportunity to explore, learn and unlearn so that they can reflect and change. The Gender Library was formed to “enhance research and learning, promote gender awareness, and foster the empowerment of distinct gender groups in our society.” You can expect an array of research papers, journals, books, publications, and more in the library. In fact, one of the most amazing aspects of this library is that it is designed to be inclusive to people with disabilities.
This museum is focused on increasing representation of gender through art. It will feature stories of women and other genders, and their struggle over the years to seek an equal space in society. It will mainly focus on the historical trajectories and lived experiences that have taken place over the past few decades, in addition to, highlighting the achievements so far.
As the name suggests, She Taxi is a one-of-a-kind, off-campus initiative where women are owners and drivers of the cab service. It is India’s first 24-hour taxi service run solely by women. In fact, during the lockdown, the She Taxi service was offering free cab rides to hospitals and buying & delivering medicines for aged and people living alone.
Apart from the above, Kerala’s Gender Park is also equipped with seminar halls, Wi-fi enabled conferences, smart classrooms, an amphitheatre and convention centre.