Gender education must start at home; Oommen Chandy

Chief Minister speaks at the close of ICGE 1

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 14: “Gender empowerment should start from our homes to achieve our goals at the societal level,” said Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy in his inaugural address at the valedictory function of the International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE 1) today, at Kovalam’s KTDC Samudra Hotel.

“We had a culture of keeping women out of economical and intellectual independence,” said the Chief Minister. “Gender equality holds the key to economic growth and human development. Governmental organisations alone cannot make the difference; it should start from our homes. The Gender Park has become a trendsetter. The first ever transgender policy is also a path breaking achievement for the state.”

Shri V S Achuthanandan, who was in Delhi, made a video address. “The patriarchal society led to the suppression of the abilities of women,” said the opposition leader. “However, today we reserve 50 per cent of the seats in local self-governing bodies for women. I express my solidarity to the initiative by the social justice department of the state.”

Dr M K Muneer, Minister for Social Justice and Panchayats highlighted that the state government would initiate a State Gender Action Plan after a series of discussion with the researchers, academicians and other experts.

“Kerala has declared seven different policies for gender identities which directly or indirectly are related to gender equality. After attending the eye-opening sessions which gave us surprising data and statistics on the gender discrimination and the loopholes in the present legislations, we will take further steps to ensure gender equality,” said minister.

The ICGE 1 Statement, which is expected to serve as a guideline to governments, NGOs and civil society, the private sector and media on the way forward to promote and sustain gender equality, was released.

Prof Amit Shovon Ray, Director of the Centre for Development Studies, was the chief guest at the function.

Dr Divya Iyer, Assistant Collector of Kottayam, Prof Naila Kabeer, London School of Economics; Mr Toshihiro Tanaka of UNFPA, and Nadereh Chamlou, Former Senior Advisor at The World Bank, also spoke during the event. The UNFPA and UN Women are also partners of the three-day ICGE 1, together with the Gender Park.


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