Government of Kerala & Gender Park, committed in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

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Kerla, 19 January 2021: The Gender Park, in partnership with UN Women, is set to host the Second Edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE-II) from 11-13th February 2021 at its Calicut campus. Globally reputed experts will be sharing their experience and knowledge on the theme “Gender in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Business: The Mediating Role of Empowerment.”

The Gender Park, under the aegis of the Government of Kerala, is committed to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. In accordance with the 2030 Agenda, Gender Park has been advocating women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship as the way to achieve these goals. It has recently also entered into an equal partnership with UN Women to develop the park into a South Asian hub for all gender-related activities.

The unprecedented crisis of Covid-19 has forced economies across the world to reconsider the urgency for sustainable development. Governments are rushing to implement economic stimulus and support packages to keep economies afloat. The current situation of high unemployment and low interest rates provides an opportunity for innovation and new business ventures. Efficient spending of these emergency resources with a focus on Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Business will not only help economies recover from the damages caused by Covid-19 but will also accelerate their efforts towards sustainable development.


The outbreak of Coronavirus has not just taken a toll on economies but also adversely affected the progress that had been made on improving gender equality over the years. While most people’s life and work have been negatively affected by the crisis, it is women who have been the most vulnerable. By unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit and leadership of women, economies can fast track their way to recovery from the Covid crisis. The need of the hour, therefore, is to empower women through social entrepreneurship. By doing so, economies will not only invest in a lasting social change but also strive for a more equal world.


These issues set the context for the second edition of ICGE. With the aim to deepen the global dialogue on the role of women’s empowerment in sustainable development, Gender Park has invited speakers from diverse backgrounds to deliberate over the issues concerning women’s participation in social businesses. The keynote address will be given by Dr. Jayati Ghosh, a renowned development economist and Chairperson of the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Some of the other distinguished speakers include Ms. Aishwarya Rutuparna Pradhan, India’s first openly transgender civil servant, working in the Odisha Financial Services (OFS) as a commercial tax officer; Dr. Meera Velayudhan, a Policy Analyst and Regional Coordinator of Indian Association For Women’s Studies (IAWS) ; Mr. Jean Dreze, a Belgian born Indian economist, social scientist, and activist; Ms. Kalki Subramaniam, a transgender rights activist, artist, actress, writer, inspirational speaker and entrepreneur.

With this conference, The Gender Park aims to bring together voices and insights of a diverse range of delegates from around the world in order to find practical solutions on pressing issues related to Gender and Sustainable Development.