Women’s Trade Centre to come up at Gender Park

Chief Minister announces functional launch of Gender Park

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the functional launch of the Kozhikode campus of the Gender Park on Sunday and hailed it as a model for the entire world.

He declared open a gender museum, gender library, convention centre, and an amphitheatre that form the first phase of the pioneering project aimed at boosting gender equality in the subcontinent.

The Chief Minister also laid the foundation stone for an International Women’s Trade and Research Centre (iWTC) that envisages a secure and sustained ecosystem for women entrepreneurs. He also unveiled a model of the multi-storey complex and a space for women to market products.

The Gender Park, as a special purpose project, was launched in 2013, and its campus at Vellimadukunnu in Kozhikode was opened in 2016 by then President Pranab Mukherjee. But the ambitious project did not take off as expected due to technical reasons.

The second International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE-II) concluded at the Gender Park campus on Saturday. The 16-session hybrid summit featured 90 speakers from 20 countries and was organised by the Department of Women and Child Development in association with UN Women, a body of the United Nations.

Minister for Health, Social Justice, Women and Child Development K.K. Shylaja who chaired the functional launch said the State government would bring out a policy to promote social entrepreneurship among women and transgender individuals, and that the deliberations at ICGE-II were poised to make their way into a policy framework, which the Gender Park and UN Women would submit to the State government as recommendations for social inclusiveness and sustainable social business.

Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Country Representative of UN Women (MCO – India, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka), hailed the opening of the Gender Park campus as a historic step towards the empowerment of women and transgender people. US Consul General (Chennai) Judith Ravin and Ambassador for Gender Equality from Australia Julie Ann Guivarra spoke on the occasion.

Legislators A. Pradeep Kumar and Purushan Kadalundy, Mayor Beena Philip, transgender activist Akkai Padmashali, and dancer-social worker and advisor of Gender Park Mallika Sarabhai were present.

The upcoming iWTC will include a women’s-only start-up incubation centre, claimed to be the world’s first of its kind, besides a business facilitator, space for rent and retail trade, a conference centre, performing arts centre, space for sustainable development, women’s health and welfare centre, and residential facilities for parents and children of women workers at the Gender Park.

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