The Kerala government’s Rs 300 crore three-tower ‘Gender Park’, claimed to be the first of its kind in the country and working towards gender equality in the state, will become functional here from February. The launch will coincide with the second edition of the International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE-II), state Health, Social Justice and Women and Child Development Minister K K Shailaja said on Tuesday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the February 11-13 IGCE-II and the Gender Park.

UN Women will be offering project development and capacity building for the Gender Park for the empowerment of women in South Asia. Gender Park will be developed into a South Asia hub for gender-related activities. A Gender Data Centre at Kozhikode campus is one of the highlights of the tie-up with UN Women. On an opening day, he will also lay the foundation of the International Women’s Trade and Research Centre (IWTRC) that envisages a secure and sustained ecosystem for women entrepreneurs and space for them to market their products. The valedictory ceremony will be inaugurated by Kerala Finance Minister Dr T M Thomas Isaac.

With ‘Gender in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Business: The Mediating Role of Empowerment’ as the focal theme, the event at the Park’s campus is being organised in association with UN Women, which is part of the United Nations. The Gender Museum will feature various social struggles that led to shifts in the status of women, their achievements and turning points, including those during the Renaissance movement.

A Gender Museum, Gender Library, Convention Centre and an Amphitheatre will also be launched at the event. These four facilities will form the first phase of the Gender Park that works towards gender equality in the state, Shailaja told a press conference here. The Gender Library envisages the creation of public awareness on gender and its role in development. The state-of-the-art Convention Centre will have the capacity to seat more than 500 people. The Amphitheatre is set against a lush green backdrop.

Such an endeavour is the first in not just the country, but perhaps the whole world, the Minister claimed. Taking part will be policymakers, academics, professionals and domain experts, besides ministers and diplomats from 30 countries. Organisations and institutions the world over will witness the proceedings live.