Gender Park's signature event to focus on empowering women, transgenders to become entrepreneurs

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja

Kozhikode: Various measures to unleash the economic potential of women and transgender persons that would empower them to become sustainable entrepreneurs will be the focus of the second edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE), a signature event of the Kerala governments Gender Park, commencing from February 11.

Policymakers, academics, professionals and domain experts from across the globe attending the event will also brainstorm the crucial links between entrepreneurship, economic growth and poverty alleviation, which are in tune with the UNs 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a press release here said.

A roadmap will be drawn up to help facilitate women and transgenders for their active participation in entrepreneurship and social businesses by making the process more gender-inclusive, especially during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

'Gender in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Business: The Mediating Role of Empowerment' is the focal theme of the event, to be held at the Parks sprawling campus in Kozhikode from February 11-13.

It is significant to note that the 13th Five Year Plan (2017-22) has laid great emphasis on encouraging entrepreneurship among women.

This seeks to create more job opportunities for women, thereby empowering them to be economically self-reliant, Kerala Health, Social Justice and Women and Child Development Minister KK Shailaja, said.

Though women entrepreneurship in the state has achieved rapid growth, that has not been properly recorded.

Despite persistent efforts, sustainable women entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship have not become the topic of serious debate. In the case of transgender persons, even accurate statistics regarding their entrepreneurship are not available, she added.

Gender Park CEO Dr P T M Sunish said the theme of the ICGE-II is relevant for India and more so for Kerala, with high levels of educated unemployment, which is significant among women.

Despite several initiatives, issues related to sustainable entrepreneurship and social businesses have not yet been mainstreamed into the discussion on women's employment and engagement in entrepreneurship.

Transgender individuals have witnessed even worse conditions in the absence of conclusive data about them in the country's gender statistics.

The first edition of ICGE was centred around 'Gender, Governance and Inclusion' and saw the official release of the Kerala State Policy for Transgenders, 2015.

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