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Policy Discussions on Gender Inclusiveness to be Part of First Indian Gender Conference

Thiruvananthapuram: Discussions on new perspectives in the compelling present-day issues of women’s employment, governance and sexual rights would be the highlight of the three-day International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE) 2015, which gets underway in the state capital on November 12.

The high-profile event , organised by the Gender Park, under the state government’s Department of Social Justice (DSJ), in partnership with UN Women, will be the first of a series of biennial conferences that would feature seminars and presentations on gender from the social, cultural, religious, legal and economic perspectives.

To be held from November 12-14 at Kovalam’s KTDC Samudra Convention Centre, ICGE 2015 will have experts in gender studies and activism, and the names include Prof Naila Kabeer from the Gender Institute at the London School of Economics;  Flavia Agnes, legal scholar and author; Dr Mallika Sarabhai, activist; and Pat Mitchell, former President and CEO of America’s Public Broadcasting Service.

Prof Kabeer will kick off the event with a keynote address on the conference theme of ‘Gender, Governance and Inclusion’.

The three-day conference would follow up with a presentation on the Central government’s high-level committee report on the status of women in India. The second day of the event will feature a roundtable on Kerala’s policy for transgenders in view of the Supreme Court’s April 2014 ruling for equality for the third gender, and it is to be chaired by DSJ director V N Jitendran.

“Months of planning have gone into putting together this conference and it is reflected in the quality of speakers, who are presenting important current studies and research on gender that span significant governance and societal issues,” said Gender Park CEO Dr P T M Sunish. “We are proud to be able to consider and forge a way forward in strengthening the inclusion of women in the development process using national and global perspectives.”

The conference is packed with sessions on child sex ratio concerns, migration from Kerala, women’s participation in MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme), caste and ethnicities, women in governance and entrepreneurship, and the masculine response to gender equality and justice.