UN Women to partner with Kerala's Gender Park

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Thiruvananthapuram: UN Women has proposed to partner with Kerala's Gender Park to take forward projects and campaigns aimed at securing gender parity in South Asia.

Setting the context for the tie-up, officials of the UN Women multi-country office (MCO) had a meeting with Kerala Minister for Health and Social Justice K K Shylaja at UN House in New Delhi last month, where the broad framework of the co-operation came up for discussion.

UN Women in New Delhi covers India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

A Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the tie-up will be signed in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan next month, a press release said.

As directed by the Chief Minister, a detailed project report on the collaboration is being drawn up.

The partnership aims at making The Gender Park, a gender equity and empowerment initiative, as the South Asian hub of UN Women.

Three key areas of co-operation of the partnership will be setting up of the Gender Data Centre at The Gender Park, Kozhikode, holding events during the 64th session of Commission on Status of Women (CSW64) in March 2020 and 75th session of UN General Assembly in September 2020 and launch of a focussed campaign called 16 Days of Activism in Kerala from November 25 to December 10, 2019.

This partnership marks recognition of Kerala's long and hard campaigns and policy initiatives to achieve gender justice and parity.

It will also help us present Kerala's long-drawn history and experience in gender equity movement before a wider regional and global audience, the Chief Minister said on the proposal.

“I am sure that this collaboration will broaden and deepen various pioneering initiatives for gender equity and women empowerment launched by the Social Justice Department of Kerala through The Gender Park,” Shylaja said.

Deputy Representative and Officer-in-Charge, UN Women MCO, Nishtha Satyam, said they were proud to be formally associated with the Gender Park and the Department of Social Justice in forwarding the shared agenda of gender equality and empowerment of women.

"We hope to work towards irreversible and sustainable change for all women and girls everywhere," she said.

Besides the minister, the state was represented at the meeting by A Sampath, former MP, Special Representative, Government of Kerala, and PTM Sunish, CEO, The Gender Park.

A convergence centre for all the gender and development work in the state, the facilities at the Gender Park includes a Gender Library, Gender Museum and Training Centre on sustainable entrepreneurship, social business and markets for women from economically backward social groups.

The UN Women MCO seeks to strengthen women's rights by working with women, men, feminists, women's networks, governments, local authorities and civil society to create national strategies to advance gender equality in line with national and international priorities.

(With agency inputs from PTI)

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